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Akbar Rogers to file $25M suit against Freeport, county

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Attorneys for Akbar Rogers, 44, the Freeport man who was captured on video being wrestled to the ground and punched and kicked by Freeport Village police officers during his arrest in December, said during a Feb. 13 news conference that he plans to sue the Freeport Police Department, the Village of Freeport, Nassau County and the Nassau County Police Department for $25 million.

According to the notice of claim, the lawsuit is over what Rogers called his false arrest and imprisonment, along with civil rights violations, assault, battery, abuse of process, negligence, negligent hiring, negligent supervision, negligent training, use of excessive force, negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress and malicious prosecution of Rogers.

According to police reports, Rogers had fled police officers who were pursuing him after an alleged altercation he had with a victim on Oct. 13. Officers said they ordered him to stop several times before wrestling him to the ground. Video captured by a bystander shows seven white officers on top of Rogers, who is black, with one officer kicking him and another punching him. The video has prompted cries from local African-American leaders who say this was an act of police brutality against a black man.

“He is still suffering from a fractured wrist, which is in a cast, and is a possible candidate for shoulder and back surgery,” said attorney Greg-Patric Martello, whose law firm, Martello & LaMagna, P.C., is representing Rogers. “Our belief is that all people should be trusted under the law, not brutalized by those who swore to protect hem.”

Both Nassau County and Freeport Village officials have said that the county and village do not comment on pending litigation.

After the municipalities review the notice of claim, Martello said his firm would officially file the suit in either state or federal court. Martello also called on Nassau County District Attorney Madaline Singas to investigate the case. As of the time of press, the DA’s office did not reply to a request for comment.