Muslim Man Initially Charged with Assault on a Police Officer to Receive Settlement from Hackensack
A Muslim man who was initially facing charges for assault on a police officer is set to receive $50,000 from the city of Hackensack following a lawsuit that he filed against the Hackensack Police Department for alleged police misconduct.
According to Mike Mordaga, the Director of the Hackensack Police Department, Hackensack resident Fouad Dakka was originally at police headquarters in 2007 regarding a conflict between two young girls, one of whom was his 11-year-old daughter. Dakka’s suit claims that when he and his daughter refused to enter the building while waiting for their lawyer, police attempted to force the girl, and a fight ensued between Dakka and the officers.
Dakka accused police of beating him excessively and using racial slurs such as “typical Arab” and “terrorist.” Police countered with charges for assault on a police officer; however, these charges were subsequently dropped.
If his case went to trial and he was ultimately found guilty, Dakka could have been facing a term of imprisonment. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b, which governs offenses for assault on a police officer, even a crime that would typically qualify as simple assault can be elevated to a third degree aggravated assault charge if the victim is a police officer. Third degree crimes are punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 3 to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison.
In this case, not only did the defendant avoid prosecution, but he filed a lawsuit after the incident and the State ruled in his favor. As such, he will receive $50,000 from the city upon approval from Hackensack City Manager Anthony Rottino. Mordaga maintains that the suit’s claims have no validity; however, he stated that the city will avoid spending additional funds by reaching this settlement.
For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Hackensack to pay $50,000 to Muslim who claims police beat him, report says