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Police Misconduct

A recent Manhattan federal lawsuit, An v. City of New York, SDNY 16-cv-05381, challeng[es] the constitutionality of the New York City Police Department’s [] widespread practice and custom of interfering with and deterring the exercise of the First Amendment right of individuals to film, photograph, videotape, or otherwise record[] NYPD officers performing their official duties in public […]

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 […]

In Betts v. Shearman et al, decided May 2, 2014, the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff’s claims for false arrest and malicious prosecution arising from his wife’s an encounter in which, he claims, his wife falsely accused him of assaulting her. Plaintiff alleged the following: On January 20, 2011 at approximately 11:30 p.m., while […]

Below is the complaint filed on April 15, 2014 against the City of New York and several “John Doe” police officers by Theodora Ray, who is one of the bystanders shot by the NYPD during the botched September 14, 2013 attempt to apprehend an (unarmed) Glenn Broadnax. (I previously wrote about a similar suit, arising from a […]