With more than two dozen of their fellow officers looking on, Gregory Kwiatkowski, Raymond Krug and Joseph Wendel on Monday denied the allegation that they roughed up four teenagers during an arrest five years ago.
The three current and former officers – Kwiatkowski is retired – appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder to hear the felony charges against them. All three pleaded not guilty and were released without bail.
Paul J. Cambria Jr., a lawyer for Kwiatkowski, said, “He’s maintained his innocence and continues to maintain his innocence.”
The officers are accused of violating the civil rights of four teenagers who were 17 and 18 at the time of the incident on Treehaven Road in Buffalo.
Indicted by a grand jury, the officers are accused of using excessive force at the scene and later at the police station.
Krug and Wendel also stand accused of shooting one of the teens with a BB gun while the young man sat handcuffed in the car.
Krug and Wendel are currently suspended with pay.
Lawyers for the three officers informed the court of their intention to seek information about a civil suit involving the 2009 incident.
They claim the city settled the suit by one or more of the teens without the permission of their clients.
“There was no requirement that they admit liability, and they did not,” said Terrence M. Connors, a lawyer for Krug, a detective on the force.
Connors said he doesn’t know what the city paid out as part of the settlement but emphasized that his client was not a party to the agreement.