From [HERE] and [HERE] A federal lawsuit says an “obsessed” Easton police officer stalked an Black man, then obtained a bogus warrant to conduct a bogus raid, and then at the raid hurled racial epithets, kicked and stomped on the man.
The lawsuit filed by 31-year-old Jermaine Newsome in federal court names Easton police officer Brian Burd and 14 other members of the Easton Police Department as defendants.
The suit filed Jan. 25 accuses Burd of repeatedly using racial epithets during the raid, including “n----r you have no rights.” It accuses Burd and Lieutenant Matthew Gerould of kicking and stomping on Newsome as he lay prone on his belly while another officer allegedly spit on him.
Jermaine Newsome and his fiance, Becky Liberti, filed the suit Friday against more than a dozen Easton cops, the mayor, city administrator and the city of Easton.
The suit alleges that officers used excessive force against Newsome in retaliation for a "spoof" video he posted on Facebook.
According to the lawsuit:
On Jan. 2, 2017, Easton police conducted a traffic stop on Newsome, of Allentown, near his fiance's apartment in the 100 block of South 13th Street. The officer found no unlawful activity so Newsome was free to go.
Later that day, Newsome "spoofed the encounter" in a video on Facebook.
Det. Brian Burd found the video and another one online. He and another detective found the video offensive and began to "stalk" Newsome and his fiance, the suit alleges.
Burd became "so obsessed with retaliating against Newsome" that at least twice, he went through the trash bins outside of the Easton apartment building looking for illegal activity, the suit says.
Burd applied for a warrant to search the Easton apartment, "falsifying and misrepresenting the affidavit of probable cause in such a way as to unlawfully induce the judge to approve" it. Newsome lives in Allentown but the warrant was for the apartment where his fiance, Becky Liberti, lives.
The lawsuit says 10 Easton police officers in riot gear broke down the front door and windows of Liberti’s home at 6 a.m. on the date of the raid. Newsome, Liberti and three kids in the home, ages 9 months, 4 and 8, woke up to glass shattering and at least a dozen men dressed in black outside of the house.
After attacking Newsome in front of the crying children, an Easton police officer allegedly yanked Newsome to his feet while another officer said, “n----r you will never walk peacefully in Easton again.”
The suit says the officers broke down the door and pointed guns at Newsome, who was already on the floor facedown.
Burd and Lt. Matthew Gerould kicked and stomped on Newsome multiple times, yelled racial slurs at him and called him a "cop killer," the suit alleges. Another officer spit on him.
Newsome was on the floor for about 30 minutes while the officers beat him and pointed guns at him, Liberti and the children. Newsome was then handcuffed and punched in the face, the suit says.
It accuses officer Burd of repeatedly using racial epithets during the raid, including “n----r you have no rights.” It accuses Burd and Lieutenant Matthew Gerould of kicking and stomping on Newsome as he lay prone on his belly while another officer allegedly spit on him.
Newsome was taken to police headquarters and held for two hours before being released. He then went to the emergency room for treatment, the suit says.
On Jan. 31, 2017, Burd charged Newsome with possession of a small amount of marijuana and the possession of drug paraphernalia [apparently found during the unlawful search]. Newsome pleaded to the charges in Aug. 2017 and paid a $150 fine.
Newsome and Liberti are also suing the city of Easton, the police department, police chief, mayor and administrator for not properly training officers on use of force and not investigating the alleged misconduct.
Newsome and Liberti are suing on 19 counts total and are requesting a jury trial.
The city of Easton said it has not yet been served with the lawsuit so cannot comment.