The charge stems from the 2013 arrest of Rodolfo Crespo, in which Crespo claims that Trinidad, along with Officer Jennifer Horn, inflicted multiple injuries to his person while he was handcuffed at police headquarters.
The lawsuit claims that Crespo asked Trinidad for assistance in making a phone call, when Trinidad “without justification or provocation” grabbed Crespo “by the throat and threw him to the floor.”
Officers Trinidad and Horn then proceeded to punch Crespo repeatedly while pinning him to the floor.
Crespo’s injuries include a “large laceration to his right ear, which had to be sewn back on.”
“Being a police officer is a powerful position,” Tracey Hinson, Crespo’s attorney said. “This case is a good example of how that power can be abused.”
Crespo filed charges against both officers, as well as the township of Bloomfield.
Originally filed in September, the suit is the second in nearly overlapping cases brought against Trinidad for police brutality.
A separate case transferred to federal court in September involved the 2012 arrest of Marcus Jeter.
In June of 2012, Officer Albert Sutterlin and Officer Sean Courter responded to a domestic-related call at Jeter’s home. After speaking to the officers briefly, Jeter left.
The officers claim that Jeter was resisting arrest, and after ordering his vehicle to a stop on the Garden State Parkway, the officers violently dragged Jeter from his car.
Trinidad came upon the scene from the opposite direction. He drove his squad car across the median, crashed into Jeter’s car, the three officers proceeded to beat Jeter.
“All I kept saying is ‘I’m not doing anything,’” Jeter later said.
The incident was caught on both squad cars’ dash cams. The video plainly showed Jeter with his hands raised and calmly cooperating with police, but internal investigations by the Bloomfield Police Department found no evidence of wrongdoing.
Jeter filed a lawsuit against the officers, alleging racial profiling, use of excessive force, physical assault, failure to provide prompt and adequate medical care, and false arrest.
Two of the officers involved in the Jeter incident were indicted on charges of official misconduct, conspiracy, and tampering with records. Sutterlin plead guilty last year to tampering with records.
The Bloomfield Police Department staffs 125 employees. In the last decade, the entire department has been involved in 137 incidents of police using excessive force. And of those 137 incidents, one employee has been responsible for 47: Orlando Trinidad.
As of November, Trinidad has been suspended without pay.