Last year, NBA player Thabo Sefolosha was acquitted of all charges filed against him by the NYPD stemming from an altercation inside a New York City nightclub. His arrest was so violent that he actually fractured his leg--a devastating injury for a professional athlete. Now Sefolosha, a victim of a false arrest in New York City and excessive force is suing 5 of the officers involved in the false arrest.
Another high profile case of excessive force in New York City may lead to the suspension or termination of a NYPD officer. After an investigation into the highly publicized arrest of ex tennis pro James Blake, the Civilian Complaint Review Board has determined that the arresting officer used excessive force when subduing Blake outside a Manhattan hotel last September.
Rikers Island has earned a bad reputation for excessive force in New York City including civil rights violations and the creation a "culture of prisoner abuse" over the years but the latest black eye for the jail complex stems from a bizarre incident in 2011. Barry Crawford, a Queens resident, was visiting a relative during regular visiting hours when he claims Rikers Island guards beat him.
A Brooklyn man was recently awarded a $100,000 verdict as a result of a case of excessive force in New York City. 40-year old Rodger Rickettes was forcibly detained by two NYPD officers after walking between cars on the subway in Brooklyn. The officers in question pushed him to the ground and pepper sprayed him. Rickettes also suffered a broken finger as a result of the altercation. The court agreed with Rickettes and his attorney that at least one of the officers in question went too far, resulting in injuries that severely hampered the victim's ability to support himself financially.
Another fatal case of excessive force in New York has claimed the life of an innocent young man. Akai Gurley was shot and killed on November 20th in a dimly-lit stairwell in Brooklyn. The shooter was a rookie NYPD officer who claims he never meant to pull the trigger. Indeed, the police commissioner issued a statement saying the fatal shot was caused by an accidental discharge.
The NYPD is facing intense media scrutiny after surveillance video surfaced showing alleged use of excessive force in New York City (specifically, the Bed Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn). Shot without the officers' knowledge, the video shows two officers approaching 16-year old Kahreem Tribble. One officer then takes a swing at the boy (with a closed fist). Tribble backs away, pinned against a security gate, when the second officer rushes in with his firearm drawn. Tribble raises his hands in a gesture of surrender but that doesn't stop the second officer from smashing his gun into the young man's mouth, shattering teeth.
Police shootings have captured headlines around the country recently and there has been yet another officer-involved incident right here in Harlem. On September 4th an unarmed man was shot by a NYPD officer during a struggle in Marcus Garvey Park. The 28-year old victim (an unnamed male) was rushed to the hospital with a single gunshot wound to the upper torso. While the NYPD is investigating, critiques are calling this a clear case of excessive force in New York City.
Eric Gardner died after a NYPD officer apparently put him in a chokehold. The whole thing was caught on camera by a bystander. Now, this instance of alleged police brutality in New York City has spurred at least one City official to call for body cams for all NYPD officers to prevent other instances of excessive force in New York.
Family members and victim advocates are alleging police brutality in New York City after a 43-year old father died during or shortly after being allegedly placed in a choke hold by an NYPD officer. Eric Garner was accused of selling illegal cigarettes on a Staten Island sidewalk earlier this month. During an attempt to take him into custody, Garner died. Victim's advocates say that police officers involved in the fatal incident may have been motivated by Garner's race and intimidated by his size.
The family of a 14-year old from the Bronx sat anxiously beside their boy's Jacobi Medical Center hospital bed as he recovered from injuries suffered at the hands of the NYPD. Earlier this month, the boy was shoved into a storefront window after officers of the New York Police Department had detained him. The glass shattered and Payne suffered multiple lacerations to his head and body. One piece of glass actually penetrated his chest cavity and pierced one of his lungs. Witnesses say this is just another case of police brutality in New York City.