By Sam Wood (Philly.com)
Scores of brutality lawsuits are filed against the Philadelphia Police Department every year. But it’s unusual for an officer, a sergeant no less, to make those charges.
In a suit filed Monday, Sgt. Brandon Ruff did just that.
Ruff claims he was roughed up by seven officers from the 35th District when he attempted to anonymously turn in three handguns at the precinct. Ruff, who says he suffered two sprained wrists and two sprained shoulders in the fracas, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.
Ruff, an eight-year veteran assigned to the 16th precinct, said the acts of the 35th District officers “were committed willfully, wantonly, maliciously, intentionally, outrageously, deliberately and/or by conduct so egregious as to shock the conscience.”
The City of Philadelphia, he said in his civil suit, encourages and is deliberately indifferent to the abuse of police powers. Among other accusations, Ruff claims the city tolerates officers who misrepresent facts in order to establish probable cause, and allows officers to have persons falsely arrested or maliciously prosecuted. He also asserts the city permits the continued employment of officers who are psychologically or emotionally unfit to serve.
Ruff is currently under investigation by Internal Affairs in connection with the incident.
In his suit, Ruff said a friend asked him to turn in three firearms the friend had bought from neighbors “in a proactive attempt to stop violence.”