Drug Policy

Another Isolated Incident

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Two Rutgers students are suing the New Brunswick, New Jersey, police department, claiming they were beaten during a mistaken drug raid:

"I didn't hear anyone say 'police' or anything, I thought we were being robbed," said Jake Kostman, a Rutgers University student.

Two Rutgers roommates say they were sleeping in the early morning hours of December 10th and had no idea who was barging into the basement room they share in an off-campus house in New Brunswick.

"I got hit in the face; I got hit in the ribs. That's basically what happened," said Kareem Najjar, a Rutgers University student. "I remember basically waking up to being hit, on the side of my face, on my back I got kicked a couple of times and stepped on," Kostman said.

Pictures show boot marks left on Kostman's back. "One person was standing on my back another was standing on my head," Najjar said. "It's really scary, really intimidating when there are people just yelling at your and hitting you, you don't believe that it's something that cops would do," Kostman said.

The roommates say it wasn't until they were handcuffed that they were told this was a raid by New Brunswick Police who apparently had a warrant for someone else in the house.

"You were never arrested?" Eyewitness News reporter Sarah Wallace asked. "No, and we asked why we were being arrested and they said, 'you're not being arrested you are being detained'," Najjar said.

Once they were finally released, they say the cops had ransacked their room, and left them sitting for nearly two hours in their underwear in the cold. Kostman claims his handcuffs were so tight and on for so long, he now has permanent nerve damage in his thumb. "I don't think anyone should ever be allowed to just come into your house and just beat the crap out of you," Kostman said.

That does seem like a pretty sensible rule of thumb. The link above includes a video with photos of the injuries. According to this article, police found ecstasy, pot, and LSD elsewhere in the house, but the fact that these two weren't arrested or charge suggests they rented the basement separately.