Yonkers police face brutality lawsuit

August 4, 2008 3:47:26 PM PDT
A man claims he was viciously beaten by police in Yonkers, and now he is suing them. "Something's got to change, sooner or later," said Rui Florim, who hopes a 20-million dollar civil rights lawsuit filed in White Plains will help spark that change inside the Yonkers police department.

On May 18th, 2006, the 23-year-old came to the Tyrone house on Main Street in Yonkers. According to the lawsuit, an early-morning fight involving several off-duty Yonkers police officers spilled out into the street. Florim was forced to defend himself.

Later that same day, Florim says two unmarked Yonkers police cars followed him after he completed his shift at Oporto restaurant in Hartsdale and forced him to stop.

"They beat the crap out of him. Then they cuffed him to the rear, then they dragged him in front of the headlights, threw him in the back seat where the front seat cop put on black gloves and beat his face," said attorney Jonathan Lovett.

"Why me basically was the only thing going through my head. I mean I was more shocked than anything. I really couldn't understand what was going on," said Florim.

Florim ended up at Saint Joseph's Medical Center where doctors needed 70 stitches to close up his wounds. The emergency room report shows Florim's request not to be discharged because he said, "They will kill me tonight."

Ultimately, investigators charged him with assaulting a half-dozen police officers. He was taken to the Westchester County jail. Florim said corrections officers there know he was from Yonkers. When he asked how they knew, he said they told him, "Anyone who comes up here and looks like you comes from Yonkers."

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STORY BY: Joe Torres

WEB PRODUCED BY: Bob Monek

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