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Police Brutality/Excessive Force

Lawyers in general, and plaintiffs’ lawyers in particular, serve a vital societal function. Their work has resulted in, to name just a few examples, the proliferation of civil rights, safer products, and safer business practices in general. As a plaintiffs’ lawyer, I am proud to be a part of, and contribute to, that process. Yet, plaintiffs’ […]

The Second Circuit’s decision in Shamir v. City of New York, No. 14-3606, 2015 WL 6214708 (2d Cir. Oct. 22, 2015) (Newman, Walker, Jacobs) is instructive on pleading police misconduct cases – namely, claims for excessive force. This case arises from plaintiff’s arrest after putting a sleeping bag on the ground while attending an Occupy Wall Street […]

In Uzoukwu v. City of New York, No. 13-3483-CV, 2015 WL 6742739 (2d Cir. Nov. 5, 2015), a false arrest/excessive force case, the Second Circuit vacated a judgment entered following a jury verdict for defendants. The facts, briefly: Plaintiff was sitting on a park bench near a playground. Park rules prohibited adults unaccompanied by children […]

In Pittman v. Incorporated Village of Hempstead, the Eastern District of New York held that plaintiff’s excessive force claim survived summary judgment. The “Fourth Amendment protects individuals from the government’s use of excessive force when detaining or arresting individuals. … A police officer’s use of force is excessive in violation of the Fourth Amendment[] if it […]

Here’s the recently-filed state court complaint filed by Kang Chun Wong, an 84 year-old man who was violently arrested by the NYPD for jaywalking in upper Manhattan earlier this year. Here’s the Gothamist article on the filing.

Yesterday a Brooklyn federal jury awarded (verdict sheet here) plaintiff Kevin Jarman $510,000 ($480,000 compensatory, $30,000 punitive) in damages arising from alleged excessive force during an arrest for shoplifting from a Path Mark store. Plaintiff alleged in his complaint that after he was handcuffed, the arresting officer “yanked very violently on the handcuffs” which caused plaintiff to lose […]

In O’Hara v. City of New York et al. (Summary Order dated June 18, 2014), the Second Circuit upheld a jury’s verdict that defendant police officer (McAvoy) used excessive force in arresting plaintiff (O’Hara) in violation of the Fourth Amendment (asserted through 42 USC 1983) and committed state-law battery. It held: [I]f we assume, as […]

White Castle can’t buy advertising like this. Below is a recent federal complaint, in which plaintiffs allege that they were arrested and struck by NYPD officers after refusing the officers’ demand for their White Castle food. According to a recent Gothamist article: Brooklyn residents Danny Maisonet and Kenneth Glover say that they procured White Castle meals on Halloween 2012 […]

As was recently reported in the New York Post, Sandra Caroline Jones, the administrator of the Estate of Darrius Hayward Kennedy (who was fatally shot by New York City police officers on August 11, 2012) recently filed a lawsuit in New York State court against the City of New York. In pertinent part, plaintiff alleges […]

A recent Second Circuit decision provides guidance on the appropriate standard to be applied in cases involving deadly police force against a suspect.  The case is Rasanen v. Brown et al., 12-680-cv, 2013 WL 3766538 (July 19, 2013). During a warranted search of John Rasanen’s home, defendant NYS trooper Brown shot and killed Rasanen.  The administrator […]