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Suit claims police brutality

Dwight Edwards claims he was attacked by officers from Jamaica's 103rd Precinct in January when he went to the station house to pick up his friend's belongings. Photo courtesy Joel Berger
TimesLedger Newspapers

A Marine veteran is suing the city, claiming officers from Jamaica’s 103rd Precinct kicked and beat him so hard when he stopped by the station house in January that his vision is impaired and he is suffering a recurrence of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Florida resident Dwight Edwards, 35, said officers from the 103rd allegedly tackled him to the ground and beat him up when he went to pick up his friend’s belongings and is accusing the NYPD of covering up the alleged attack, according to a complaint filed last week in Brooklyn federal court.

He is seeking compensatory and punitive damages as well as attorneys’ fees.

Edwards, who was honorably discharged in 2002 after serving four years in the corps, including a tour in Afghanistan, was visiting friends and family in Queens for the holidays in early January.

He and his girlfriend were in a car with another friend around 2:45 p.m. Jan. 2 when the man stepped out of the car and “chose to relieve himself in public,” according to the complaint.

Unfortunately, Edwards’ friend got the urge just when an officer from the 103rd was on his way out of a nearby police supply store.

When the man could not provide proper identification, he was taken into custody and Edwards was told he could pick his friend’s things up at the precinct, but when he showed up and asked to speak with a supervisor in charge, an unidentified officer told Edwards “there’s no one f---ing in charge” and yelled “get the f--k out of my precinct,” according to the complaint.

Edwards, who the complaint points out is black, then muttered to himself “there’s no law here” before two white officers allegedly grabbed him from behind, tackled him to the ground and punched him below the ribs repeatedly.

A spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney’s office said Edwards’ claim was under investigation.

His lawyer claims Edwards did not fight back and after escaping from the precinct he went to the Veterans Affairs hospital in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where he was treated for a facial fracture under his right eye and a broken blood vessel.

Edwards had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his combat experiences, and after the alleged attack in Queens he was hospitalized for about three weeks in Florida for PTSD and continues to receive treatment, according to his lawyer.

The complaint said no NYPD employees reported the incident and alleges a “complete coverup” at the 103rd.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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