Baltimore man wins civil suit against police in brutality case

Abdul Salaam wins brutality civil suit against Baltimore police officers.

A Baltimore Circuit Court jury sided with a Baltimore man who alleged brutality against three Baltimore police officers.

Abdul Salaam, 37, filed a civil suit against the officers alleging that he was beaten during a July 1, 2013, traffic stop in Northeast Baltimore. The jury awarded him $70,000 in damages.

Officers Nicholas Chapman, Jorge Omar Bernardez-Ruiz and Nathan Ulmer pulled Salaam over for alleged seat belt and cell phone violations as he drove home from shopping with his 3-year-old son. The traffic stop turned violent and Salaam ended up in a hospital along with Chapman for minor injuries.

The case caught attention of many in Baltimore as it's tied to that of Tyrone West, a 44-year-old Baltimore man who died in custody less than three weeks after Salaam's arrest. Officers Chapman and Bernardez-Ruiz were also involved in West's arrest along with several other officers. They were cleared of wrongdoing in West's case, but the family is suing the officers in federal court.

"Had they done their investigation like should have, those officers would have been off the street," said Salaam of the Baltimore police internal investigation of the officers. The internal police investigation found the complaints of excessive force against Salaam were not sustained.

The three officers were not present at the time of the verdict and Baltimore Police did not respond for comment.

crentz@baltsun.com

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