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Victim of 2014 police brutality incident arrested in drug raid

John T. Willet, 25, of Buffalo, was arrested early Thursday in a Riverside narcotics raid, authorities said.

Narcotics detectives said two guns, a quantity of drugs and cash were seized from the residence where Willet and several others were arrested. Further details were unavailable.

Willet is the same man who was beaten while handcuffed by a Buffalo police officer in 2014. The police officer lost his job as a result of that beating.

Willet sued the city and Buffalo Police Department for $500,000 in the police brutality incident from April 2014, but on Tuesday a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, explaining that there was a lack of action by the plaintiff.

Officer John A. Cirulli was caught in a cell phone video hitting Willet, who was lying face down on the sidewalk at Philadelphia and Ontario streets in Riverside. He resigned from the police force, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to two misdemeanors and was placed on a year of probation.

In connection with the 2014 incident, Willet pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor drug possession and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. He was sentenced to up to six months in jail.

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