Lawsuit: Woman victimized by Jersey City cops for ‘driving while black’ after cruiser crash

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A Bayonne woman is alleging in a lawsuit that she was victimized by Jersey City cops last year after a police cruiser crashed into her car, being detained for hours afterwards as they improperly tried to charged her with drunk driving.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

According to the suit, filed in Hudson County Superior Court on October 15th, Cheryl Morrison was driving her sister-in-law home when a Jersey City police car backed out of a parking spot near the South District and struck her vehicle.

The cruiser did not have its lights or flashers activated, but nevertheless, Officer Arkaiusz Zylkiewicz placed the sole blame of the accident on Morrison, yelling at her before a “mob of police officers” approached the accident scene, the court filing says.

Despite telling officers that she had consumed less than one glass of wine, the officers remained aggressive in arrested her for driving while intoxicated, with Morrison declining to take the filed sobriety tests since she believed the results would be “manipulated or mischaracterized,” the suit reads.

She also alleges that she was handcuffed and detained while her car was impounded, despite having two relatives at the scene capable of driving her vehicle.

Furthermore, Morrison was detained until the early hours of the morning, despite a breathalyzer result of 0.06, under the legal limit of 0.08. She eventually pleaded guilty to reckless driving due to “erroneous counsel” and had to spend over $2,000 on car repairs, her suit states.

Morrison alleges that her civil rights were violated, she was a victim of excessive force, false arrest, false arrested, fraudulent concealment, destruction of evidence, assault and battery, emotional distress and property damage.

As a result, she is seeking compensatory damages, punitive damages and counsel fees.

A city spokeswoman said they do not comment on ongoing litigation.

1 COMMENT

  1. Cheryl and I worked together for years and she has always been an honest person and a pleasure to work with always carrying herself with the upmost respect. So I believe her when it comes down to her statement about the accident.

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