Barely a week goes by without someone suing the Philadelphia Police Department for one thing or another. Lawsuits are filed so frequently that they rarely ever stand out. Oh, somebody is suing the police again. But in this particular case, a Philadelphia police officer is suing his own force for police brutality.
Brandon Ruff is a sergeant in the Philadelphia Police Department, which he joined in 2006. He is also the founder of Devoted Dads, an organization that delivers Christmas gifts to and mentors single fathers in Philadelphia.
In August, claims Ruff, a friend of his contacted him about surrendering some guns to the police department. According to Ruff’s suit, the friend had bought them off of people in his neighborhood in an attempt to get illegal guns off of the street. Ruff agreed to take possession of the guns and turn them in, but when he tried to do so, things didn’t go as planned.
Ruff says that he wanted to turn them in anonymously under the department’s “no questions asked” gun turn-in policy. Trouble is, no such policy exists at this time, say police.
According to Ruff’s suit (below), filed in federal court earlier this week, one cop grabbed him by the arm and placed him in custody, while another group of cops confronted him, shouting. “I’ll fucking taze you,” he claims one cop yelled at him, even after he identified himself as a police officer. And when they saw Ruff’s gun on his hip, Ruff says one asked, “Why the hell would you come into a police station with a gun on your hip?” He was off-duty at the time.
Ruff says in the suit that two of the cops pressed Tasers against his body but did not discharge them. After several hours, Ruff was released, and no charges were filed. According to the suit, the confrontation resulted in two sprained wrists and two sprained shoulders.
The police won’t comment on ongoing litigation, but Lieutenant John Stanford did admit to Philly.com that the whole situation was a bit “odd.”
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