ELIZABETH, NJ – The City Council resolved to pay $60,000 to settle a family’s lawsuit claiming excessive force by police in an incident that took place June, 13, 2008, as reported on the NJ Civil Settlements website.
Chantal Theodore, David Romilus, and Jessica Chantal claimed the incident took place June 13, 2008, at a gathering at the Theodore home to mourn the shooting death of Chantel’s son Curtis, who was killed earlier in the day. According to testimony in the Appellate Division’s opinion, twenty police officers responded to complaints of disorderly persons who were sitting on cars in an adjacent restaurant parking lot drinking and littering.
When the mourners were ordered to vacate, Chantal and her brother Romilus objected and were arrested along with Chantal’s daughter, Jessica. Chantal was convicted in municipal court of resisting arrest and obstruction; Romilus of disorderly conduct; and Jessica of simple assault. All three convictions were upheld in Union County Superior Court. The appellate Division reversed Romilus’s and Jessica’s convictions, while upholding Chantal’s.
None of the trio’s allegations have been proven or disproven in court, and settlement does not mean admission of wrongdoing by Elizabeth police.
City officials declined comment.