NEWARK, N.J. (CN) – After a flimsy gun charge sidelined his NFL career, former linebacker Khaseem Greene accused New Jersey police and prosecutors on Tuesday of suborning perjury.
Represented by the firm Schiller McMahon, Greene brought his complaint nearly a year to the day that his indictment by a grand jury in New Jersey led the Kansas City Chiefs to cut him from their roster.
Greene says his attorneys flagged the evidence as fabricated a month later, and that the state abruptly dropped its charge in July.
Calling the ordeal “one of the most chilling episodes of police and prosecutorial misconduct in modern New Jersey history,” the lifelong Elizabeth resident now seeks damages, remedial training for Elizabeth police officers and appointment of an independent monitor.
The 29-year-old notes that his arrest followed a shooting at the All Star Cafe in Elizabeth on Dec. 3, 2016.
Though the shooter, Jason Sanders, was identified and arrested within a few weeks, Greene says police “willfully ignored” the facts of the case to bring him down.
Sanders, who pleaded guilty to the shooting last month, implicated Greene in the crime during a videotaped interview with police on Dec. 30, 2016.
Though Sanders told police that Greene handed him the gun he used in the shooting, according to the complaint, he also “told police that he ‘lied.’”
Greene says this was one of two lies that led to his false arrest, with the other coming from a police officer who said Greene “was observed on surveillance video handing over a handgun” to Sanders.
Such fabrications marred Greene’s reputation in the community, according to the complaint, which says the 29-year-old was “known by many as the ‘Pride of Elizabeth.’”
Greene was drafted in 2013 by the Chicago Bears after becoming what he calls “the most decorated defensive player in Rutgers football history.”
In addition to being the first and only two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year for Rutgers, Greene notes that his 2012 season included “AT&T, ESPN, Associated Press and Walter Camp All-American” honors.
Greene is represented by Joshua McMahon of Schiller McMahon in Westfield. His complaint alleges 14 counts including defamation, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment and various civil rights abuses.
Representatives for the Union County Prosecutor’s Office and the town of Elizabeth declined to comment.
The Kansas City Chiefs are not a party to the action and did not respond to a request for comment.
Greene’s suit quotes his former football coach at Elizabeth High School as saying the indictment last year “flabbergasted” him.
“He’s one of the greatest kids I’ve ever coached,” Chet Parlevecchio told NJ Advance Media last year. “He was a leader and everything you wish for in a football player. He was someone who was never in trouble in high school. When he was there, he was a gentleman for us. Never any trouble. He did whatever it took on the field for us to be successful. Just a great kid, and this is news to me.”