The Justice Department and several police officers’ unions filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the chief of a New Jersey police force, saying the officer violated their civil rights when he punched and choked a man in a back alley and then failed to use his Taser after he was injured.
The complaint, filed in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, alleges that Deputy Chief Christopher Giannini violated the constitutional rights of two officers when he fired his Tasers at a man who was handcuffed in an alley and who had his hands in the air.
Giannini said he believed the man was “threatening” him, according to the complaint.
Giannino has been with the New Jersey State Police since 2011 and has been involved in a number of high-profile cases.
Giamini, who was not named in the lawsuit, faces four counts of assault with intent to injure, two counts of resisting arrest and one count of assault.
He was released on $10,000 bond Tuesday after posting $1,000 bail.
The New Jersey attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The officers, who are not named, are among those arrested in the July 2015 shooting of Anthony Houser, who had a gun in his hand and was pointing it at officers when one of the officers fired a Taser at him, causing Housers neck to snap.
The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.
Gannini, a New York City police officer, said in a statement that he would resign after being charged with four counts, including assault with an object or deadly weapon and false imprisonment.
The city attorney said Gianninis misconduct occurred after a review of the incident by the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau.
Gianniini, 53, did not respond to an email seeking comment.
Gansiini was appointed by Gov.
Chris Christie to a six-year contract in October 2014.
The state Police Department has been under federal investigation for several years over its use of force and brutality against people of color.
A federal judge in Newark on Monday ordered the city to reimburse the state Police department $1.5 million for the use of excessive force, including the shooting of Housser.
The judge also ordered the state police to pay more than $1 million in legal fees and other expenses related to the case.