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.
Security camera footage shows Officer James Frascatore, a plain clothes NYPD detective, grab Mr. Blake and throw him to the ground as he was leaving the Grand Hyatt Hotel. It turns out that Officer Frascatore had incorrectly identified him as the suspect in a credit card fraud investigation underway at the hotel.
Faced with video evidence, the Civilian Complaint Review Board agreed with Blake and his lawyer that the excessive force was unwarranted. The board recommended that Officer Frascatore should be disciplined internally. Such internal punishments will be issued by Commissioner Bill Bratton and could include suspension or termination. However, it is unlikely that criminal charges will be filed.
Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bratton have faced increased public scrutiny in recent months as several high-profile instances of excessive force in New York City have tarnished the reputation of the NYPD. Vowing to clean-up the police force and stamp out excessive force and police brutality, the pair have increased their responsiveness to such claims and are likely to take strong action against such out-of-control officers.
Regardless of the internal punishment, Mr. Blake could file a civil lawsuit against Frascatore, the NYPD, and the City of New York. Such excessive force lawsuits in New York have resulted in substantial financial awards for victims in the past.
If you or a family member has been the victim of police brutality at the hands of the NYPD or corrections officers at Rikers Island, Manhattan Detention Center or Brooklyn Detention Center, contact an expert New York City excessive force attorney immediately to safeguard your civil rights. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.