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Excessive force lawsuit against AC police officer settled before trial

Excessive force lawsuit against AC police officer settled before trial

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An excessive-force lawsuit involving Atlantic City police officer Franco Sydnor was settled on Friday, attorneys for both parties confirmed Monday.

Sydnor, an officer since 2003, was being sued in federal civil court by Anthony Moore, 41, of Pennsylvania, for alleged use of excessive force during a 2012 incident at Bally’s Atlantic City. Moore required several staples in his head to close a wound caused by Sydnor, according to court documents.

Steve Glickman, an attorney for Sydnor, claimed in court documents that Moore was “acting belligerent and acting in an overtly defiant manner” toward authorities.

On Monday, Glickman said he could not disclose the details of the settlement because both parties still have to officially sign the court documents.

He said, however, that Sydnor will “absolutely” continue his job as a detective at the Atlantic City Police Department.

“All I can say is that whenever there is a settlement, all sides are happy with some things and not happy with others,” he said.

Jennifer Bonjean, an attorney for Moore, said her client was satisfied with the settlement.

“My client is satisfied and happy to have this behind him,” she said. “But the city owes it to the taxpayers to see if this officer is fit to continue his job in the Police Department.”

The lawsuit stemmed from an incident on Oct. 7, 2012. Moore was intoxicated in Bally’s with his brother, Cirian Moore, and several friends when the group got into a dispute with security guards at the casino, according to court documents and surveillance video obtained by The Press of Atlantic City. The video shows Sydnor and other officers arriving at the scene and Cirian Moore being thrown to the ground by Sydnor.

The video also shows the following:

Sydnor and the casino security team escort Cirian and Anthony Moore, as well as other members of the group, to the Boardwalk exit of Bally’s. During the escort, both Moores turn around and continue to talk to Sydnor.

When the group reaches the Boardwalk exit, the incident turns into a melee.

Sydnor is pushed and knocked over, though it is not clear in the video whether it was Anthony Moore or a friend standing next to him, Aaron McGowan, who knocked Sydnor over.

McGowan is thrown to the ground and handcuffed by Sydnor and another officer. Anthony Moore is then tackled and beaten in the head and torso with a baton by Sydnor, leaving him handcuffed and bloodied on the carpet, the video shows.

Sydnor then picked up Anthony Moore by the handcuffs, which Moore says left him with permanent damage to his wrists.

Moore was taken to the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, City Campus, and diagnosed with a concussion, according to court documents.

The case was the second excessive force lawsuit against the Atlantic City Police Department that Bonjean resolved this year.

In March, she represented Steven Stadler in a case against two current and one former Atlantic City police officer in federal court.

In that case, retired city police Officer John Devlin was ordered to pay Stadler $500 for the use of excessive force. Atlantic City had to pay $300,000.

Contact: 609-272-7260 Twitter @ACPressDeRosier

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