Police flashlights rammed up their backsides. Harassed with a giant blue dildo. Genitals on their food.
Five officers and an employee of the Mountainside Police Department are suing the borough of Mountainside, New Jersey, after claiming officials ignored years of "harassing, inappropriate and illegal conduct" by two of their colleagues, the New York Post reported.
The 46-page-long complaint, obtained and posted by Patch, names Officers Andrew Huber and Thomas Murphy as the main instigators but faults the Police Department and borough leadership for allowing the "hostile work environment" to continue.
Among the accusations are that around 2007 or 2008, Huber kept a large dildo in the department office that he named Big Blue. The lawsuit alleges that Huber would wave the dildo around and throw it at people. The suit alleges that the police chief at the time, James Debbie, did not take any action and might have even condoned the antics.
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On at least two occasions, officers tried to throw the dildo away, and at one point a presentation was given emphasizing that sex toys in the department were not acceptable, according to the suit.
But Big Blue kept reappearing. In 2015, Huber allegedly attacked a male police dispatcher with Big Blue as Murphy filmed it.
“Huber stuck Big Blue in the male dispatcher’s face and hit him over the head with it,” the complaint says. “Murphy laughed and stated, ‘Get him,’ ‘What’s it smell like,’ and ‘I hope it doesn’t smell like what I think it smells like.'”
A video of the alleged incident was obtained by NJ.com and shows an officer jabbing a blue dildo into another man's face and laughing as the man tries to bat it away.
The suit also alleges that Murphy would sometimes ram his flashlight "into the anus area of other male officers," even leading one officer to walk with his back to the wall.
The suit alleges that Murphy and Huber would also play a prank called "braining" in which Huber would allegedly take his testicles out of his pants and dip them on another officer's food or drink. Murphy would allegedly take a picture, then show the target officer the picture later.
There are many other claims listed in the suit, including allegations that Huber would harass other officers in the locker room while naked, that Chief Alan Attanasio repeatedly pointed his revolver at officers, and that Murphy, Huber and another officer pinned the male dispatcher from the Big Blue episode to the ground and forcibly tickled him.
The lawsuit claims a lawyer not involved in the current complaint tried to inform city officials about "systemic" problems in the department in January of 2017 but was immediately told to be quiet.
"I don't want to see it, sir, quite frankly," Mayor Paul Mirabelli says in a video of the meeting. "You're not going to grandstand here." The meeting becomes heated, and the two argue for some time. The mayor tells him to report any evidence of misconduct to the police internal affairs division and at one point even asks an officer to escort him away.
The argument begins at about 10:30 in the video.
The lawsuit says that "corruption is strongly rooted in Mountainside and internal complaints to the mayor, borough council and administrator would not be effectively and appropriately addressed," Patch reported.
"I have no “special relationship” with Officer Huber or Officer Murphy which would cause me to in any way hinder any investigations of internal affairs complaints or which would cause me take any steps to make sure that such complaints were not effectively or appropriately addressed," Mirabelli said in a statement, according to MyCentralJersey.
In response to the lawsuit, the borough of Mountainside released a statement saying Murphy and Huber had been placed on leave pending a "full investigation," but added that the action did not necessarily "lend any credence to any of the allegations made in the Complaint."
Attanasio was also placed on leave Thursday, NJ.com reported.
The borough also said in the statement that many of the allegations were in the process of being investigated back in April and that the complainants had never been made available for interviews.