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Buffalo Police officer remains on the job despite assault allegations, civil lawsuit

Buffalo Police officer remains on the job despite assault allegations, civil lawsuit
Posted at 12:19 PM, May 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-20 14:31:15-04

Facing two different civil lawsuits, Buffalo Police Officer Cedric Littlejohn appeared in Buffalo City Court to answer allegations of assault.  

Littlejohn smirked at our camera as he strut into the courtroom.

For the first time, we're hearing from the man who says he was assaulted by Littlejohn, outside the old Sinful night club.  It's now called Waiting Room, on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo.  

Derrick Anderson says he was punched at least twice by Littlejohn, who was off-duty, working security at the bar in January, 2013.

The two punches were recorded by the bar's surveillance camera system.

 
Watch our entire story on Officer Littlejohn

"He wasn't supposed to touch me at all.  The only way he was supposed to touch me is if I was being detained or arrested.  None of that was happening," Anderson said.

Even though he was off-duty, Littlejohn admits to wearing parts of his Buffalo police uniform.  In court documents obtained by 7 Eyewitness News, Littlejohn said he was wearing his department issued hat and jacket.  That is a violation of department rules.

"[Patrons] treat us differently than they would treat security," Littlejohn said. "...we have more authority."

Anderson said he thought Littlejohn was working in his official capacity, as a Buffalo police officer.

"If he wasn't on duty, he definitely wanted to intimidate people for them to believe he was on duty," Anderson said.

"[Patrons] treat us differently than they would treat security," Littlejohn said.  "...we have more authority."

In on the record testimony, Littlejohn asked why he was wearing parts of his uniform, even though he was off-duty working security.  

Shatonya Garrison was outside the club while Anderson said he was assaulted.  She is one of three eyewitnesses who've come forward, saying Littlejohn was the aggressor in this altercation.

 
Shatonya Garrison is one of three eyewitnesses to come forward in this case against Littlejohn. She says after seeing what happened to Derrick Anderson, she wants justice for her friend.

"They probably use their authority a little too much," Garrison said.  "It was very shocking to see Buffalo police in particular, to see them hurting someone."  

Commissioner Dan Derenda ended the practice of Buffalo police officers moonlighting as bouncers, while off-duty, three years ago.

Now, through court documents, we've learned Littlejohn was charged with departmental violations in connection to this alleged assault, by Internal Affairs.  It's unclear if Littlejohn was ever disciplined.

"If they would have nipped my situation in the [bud] from the jump, whatever happened with the other guy on Riley, that would have never happened," Anderson said.

"I didn't give him a chance to hit me"

'The other guy' is John Case.  Case claims he was also assaulted by Littlejohn last year, at Michigan and Riley, in what amounts to a case of road rage.

"I stepped out of the truck and was standing right here," Case demonstrated.  "He grabbed me by the throat and slammed me straight back, breaking the window out."

Littlejohn is facing a civil lawsuit in connection to that case.  We found him in Buffalo City Court for a hearing on the matter.  He refused to answer our question and pushed our reporter out of the way.

"He grabbed me by the throat and slammed me straight back, breaking the window out."

In deposition testimony, Littlejohn said he gave Anderson "a little push," while he was being escorted out of the club.

"He turned around, faced me like he ws going to hit me," Littlejohn testified.

"Okay.  Did he hit you," questioned Anderson's attorney.

"I didn't give him a chance to hit me," Littlejohn answered.

Littlejohn claims he was threatened and was defending himself, after Anderson said "I'm going to knock you the f--- out," if he was touched again.

Anderson said he was never going to hit the officer, but turned around in the video because, he didn't "want to get in a big brawl with this guy, but I have to face him...I didn't want him to attack me from behind..."

Garrison, the eyewitness, said Anderson was never a threat to the officer and believed excessive force was used.

 
Derrick Anderson says Littlejohn grabbed his $4,000 necklace and broke it, when the officer was winding up to punch. He said he never expected this from a Buffalo police officer.

After Anderson turned around, he said Littlejohn grabbed his $4,000 necklace and broke it off.  The pieces scattered on the ground.  It was jewelry Anderson bought after winning a prior, unrelated lawsuit.

"I'm from the inner city of Buffalo," Anderson said.  "I was more concerned about maybe some gangster guys coming to take my jewelry, but it was crazy that it was the Buffalo police, " Anderson said.

Despite all of these claims, Littlejohn has not been charged with a crime and is still on the job.

Last year, Littlejohn collected a taxpayer-funded salary of more than $120,000, according ot the Empire Center, a non-profit state government watchdog.

That leaves Anderson questioning why Littlejohn is still on the force.

Littlejohn has not been charged with a crime and is still on the job.

"If there's a situation at my house, we got to be worried about calling the police because Littlejohn is still working and he might pull up to my house.  It's scary," Anderson said.

Anderson's attorney has questioned, in court documents, why Littlejohn wasn't ever arrested for assault.  The officer denies there was ever any assault, however.

We tried asking questions about this and the two lawsuits, considering the city of Buffalo is named in one of them, but a spokesman said they will not comment on pending litigation.

Ed Drantch

Ed Drantch is a part of the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team, and also a morning anchor on 7 Eyewitness News. 

Find out how to contact Ed Drantch here