A federal court jury has decided that New Jersey police did not violate the civil rights of a man who died after a physical altercation during an arrest 7 1/2 years ago.
After a trial, jurors in federal court in Camden sided with the city Oct. 19 in a lawsuit filed by relatives of 32-year-old Vineland resident Philip White, according to court records.
Officers responded in March 2015 to a report of a man being “scary” in the street and eventually subdued White after a fight captured on video by a passerby. The video shows an officer hitting White and a police dog being used during the arrest.
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White died on the way to the hospital and an autopsy revealed toxic levels of a drug called phencyclidine, or PCP, in his system. Injuries from the K9’s actions were noted but were deemed superficial by a medical examiner.
Philip White’s family has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city of Vineland and two officers involved in the incident.
Cumberland County prosecutors said in 2016 that a grand jury declined to indict the two Vineland officers involved. White’s relatives filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city and two officers, one of whom was later dismissed as a defendant.
“We believe very strongly for our client and our client’s cause, but the jury didn’t see it that way,” Michael Galpern, an attorney for White’s mother, Pamela, told NJ Advance Media for NJ.com. He said the defense is considering whether to appeal.
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An attorney for Vineland and its police department declined to comment, NJ.com reported.