Former New Jersey Cop Wins $5M in Lawsuit Against State Police

May 13, 2010

A former municipal police officer who sued a New Jersey state trooper for excessive use of force has been awarded $5 million.

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority says it plans to appeal the jury’s decision.

Gary Wade, then a Tinton Falls police officer, claimed he was roughed up, pepper sprayed and handcuffed by Trooper Michael Colaner after being stopped for speeding on the Garden State Parkway in August 2004.

Colaner and a second trooper involved in the stop said Wade was combative and refused to identify himself as a police officer.

The suit was filed in federal court in 2006, and last month a jury awarded Wade $4.5 million in punitive damages and $500,000 in compensatory damages.

On Tuesday, Turnpike Authority spokesman Joe Orlando said the verdict is flawed.

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