PATERSON — The lawyer for the household of a man who has been lacking since Feb. 2 sued the borough of Haledon this week to get paperwork in regards to the police investigation into his controversial disappearance.
Felix DeJesus, a 41-year-old Haledon resident, was final seen on Feb. 2 after he was detained by two Paterson law enforcement officials after a disturbance in a metropolis bodega after which dropped off blocks away at Westside Park, in line with his members of the family and legislation enforcement officers.
The lawsuit, which was filed on Thursday, mentioned DeJesus’ household believes data within the lacking individual investigation file might assist them discover him. Haledon officers declined to touch upon the lawsuit.
Haledon police have mentioned 5 folks noticed DeJesus on the park after the police left him there on a freezing night time sporting a T-shirt and pants. However Haledon police haven’t divulged the names of these folks or precisely what they informed investigators.
The conduct of the 2 officers, who turned off their police physique cameras whereas DeJesus was nonetheless inside their patrol car, has been the topic of a Paterson Inner Affairs investigation, in line with a number of sources acquainted with the case. However the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Workplace has not acknowledged the existence of the IA probe.
An Open Public Data Request filed on June 16 by the household’s lawyer, Jeff Patti, sought quite a few paperwork from the Haledon police lacking individual investigation, together with the witness interviews. However Haledon on July 12 denied Patti’s request “on account of the truth that there’s an ongoing investigation.”
Previous to Patti’s OPRA request, officers in Paterson had tried to maintain confidential the video recordings from the physique cameras worn by the 2 cops who detained DeJesus. However a decide ordered the recordings be launched after information organizations filed an OPRA lawsuit.
In the meantime, Paterson’s legislation director, Aymen Aboushi, despatched the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Workplace a letter on July 13 asking on behalf of the Paterson Metropolis Council that the Bergen County company take over the DeJesus investigation. Aboushi primarily based the request on “the looks of a battle of curiosity” as a result of one of many officers is expounded to a council member in Paterson.
Earlier:Paterson says radio transmissions in Felix DeJesus lacking individual case now not exist
Authorities haven’t recognized the cops by title. Neither did Aboushi’s letter. However Patti has mentioned in a letter to the Lawyer Basic’s Workplace that the officer in query is Jacob Feliciano, cousin of councilman Michael Jackson.
Jackson, who has been supportive of the DeJesus household’s calls for for solutions over the previous 5 months, acknowledged the looks of a battle and mentioned he has no downside with the probe being shifted to the neighboring county. The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Workplace didn’t reply to a reporter’s message relating to Aboushi’s letter.
On Tuesday night time, Jackson took exception with what he mentioned was an elevated police presence at council conferences for the reason that DeJesus household started attending the periods. The members of the family — who’ve attended each council session since February, repeatedly have engaged in indignant verbal exchanges with metropolis officers through the conferences.
Jackson mentioned previous to the DeJesus case that there can be no officers on the council’s workshop conferences and two officers at council enterprise conferences. In current months, the councilman mentioned, there have been three cops at Metropolis Corridor on assembly nights and generally further officers exterior the constructing.
“We’re taking officers off the streets after we’re already brief,” Jackson mentioned.
Throughout Tuesday’s assembly, Jackson requested for an evidence for the cops, however not one of the different officers supplied him with a solution.
Joe Malinconico is editor of Paterson Press. E-mail: [email protected]
This text initially appeared on NorthJersey.com: Lacking individual Felix DeJesus household sues Haledon NJ looking for information