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$50,000 Settlement in Haq Suit vs. Police

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Frank X. Graves Public Safety Building
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PATERSON, NJ - The City Council Tuesday night approved a $50,000 payment to settle a police brutality lawsuit stemming from a January 2008 incident that prompted two large rallies by Muslim-Americans outside City Hall.
The Haq family of Dakota Street filed the lawsuit in federal court after their eldest son, Saer Haq, who was 26 at the time, was beaten by police officers responding to a 911 call to their home. Police had said Haq was beaten when he attacked officers who were arresting his brother.
 
The City Council held a closed session discussion of the lawsuit with Public Safety Director Glenn Brown and Police Chief James Wittig. The council then approved the settlement as part of its consent agenda - a large number of resolutions approved in a single vote - without discussing the case.
 

City officials have not responded to inquiries about the status of the case and whether it was close to trial. Wittig declined to comment on the settlement.
 
The January 2008 rallies drew Muslims from as far away as Jersey City, according to a News 12 report at the time
 
A northjersey.com story from 2008 said police arrested three members of the Haq family after they allegedly grappled with three police officers who came to investigate a 911 call of adult-on-child domestic violence at the house. The story said police reported that Saer Haq threatened to kill the officers.
 
The northjersey.com story said the melee ended when the officers arrested the three Haq family members who allegedly assaulted them: Saer Haq; his father, Sammy Haq, 52; and his mother, Montha Haq, 49. Also arrested were Ammar Haq, Saer Haq's 21-year-old brother, and a neighbor, Gunnur Kulaksiz, 42, according to the story
 
The story said police officials maintained that the officers' response was justified because Haq family members jumped on the officers as they were trying to arrest Saer Haq.
 
It was not clear Tuesday night what became of the criminal charges filed against the Haq family members.
 

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