Civil litigation provides a means for people who have suffered injury or other harm due to another's actions to seek compensation and justice. While construction accidents, auto accidents and premises liability claims immediately come to mind, the same legal principles apply to citizens who were injured by police brutality or excessive force, or suffered the consequences of false arrest and unlawful detention.
According to a recent report by the Associated Press, New York City has paid out $964 million over the past decade in cases involving police misconduct, patrol-car crashes and accidents at police precincts and other facilities. Among the settlements the city reached in such cases was $7.15 million to the family of Sean Bell in a wrongful death lawsuit after he was gunned down outside his bachelor party at a Queens nightclub in a hail of 50 bullets from NYPD weapons despite being unarmed himself.
Other settlements range from $250,000 to a suspect who sustained a fractured jaw in a subway arrest, to a man who received nearly $10 million for spending nearly two decades in prison after being framed by police falsehoods. One officer was named in at least seven separate claims involving excessive force and brutality. Law enforcement officers have tremendous power in our society, and it can come as a great relief to citizens to learn that the law provides a remedy when that power is abused.
A New York City Trial Lawyer Can Explain Your Legal Options
The harm that results from police abuse can be life shattering, from the sexual abuse suffered by Abner Louima, who was sodomized by an officer using a broken broom handle, to the senseless murder of Guinean immigrant Amadou Diallo, who was gunned down in a barrage of live fire after officers misidentified him as a rape suspect. Less serious injuries, from a fractured arm to psychological trauma, are reported month after month, year after year.
Police brutality and false arrest victims, as well family members of those abused by law enforcement, should contact an experienced NYC personal injury attorney to discuss the details and consider their prospects for legal action. The same holds for situations involving abuse by corrections officers, inmate assault and false imprisonment. By speaking out against unlawful actions and official misconduct, citizens hold rogue cops accountable and make New York City a safer place.