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Can I Sue The NYPD For Police Misconduct?

According to a recent report by the NY Daily News, New York City paid out over $1 billion in settlements and verdicts in lawsuits in 2016. In the fiscal year 2016, about $228.5 million was paid out in cases regarding police misconduct – over one-third of the total liability the city faced during that period. Police misconduct is nothing new, as the NYPD has long had a reputation for harboring a handful of bad officers who abuse their power through excessive force, wrongful arrests, planting evidence, and other serious violations. This uptick in liability suggests that citizens have begun to feel more empowered to take action after they’ve become victims of police misconduct.

Brooklyn Man Settles For $100K After NYPD Officers Frame Him For Gun Charge

In November 2017, a Brooklyn man reached a settlement in a federal lawsuit against the NYPD for allegedly framing him on a gun charge in 2012. Raul Glasgow was pulled over in November 2012 in East Flatbush for driving with a forged license. The police claimed they found a .45-caliber handgun in the trunk of his car during a search at the 67th Precinct.

Glasgow insisted that the gun had been planted. The police promised not to impound his vehicle if he gave them information about guns or drugs. Glasgow offered to give them another .45 that had been left at his apartment by a friend.

He phoned his wife, telling her to give the police the gun when they arrived at his home. He was then charged with gun possession. The arresting officer swore in a criminal complaint that the gun was found in the trunk of Glasgow’s car during the search at the 67th Precinct. This was proven to be a lie, and the charges were dropped the following summer. The two officers involved in the incident eventually quit the force.

The $100,000 settlement is broken down as $95,000 from city coffers and $5,000 split between the two officers.

How Common Is Police Misconduct In New York City?police brutality graphic

The Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) is an oversight committee for the NYPD, which takes reports of alleged police misconduct and police brutality. In September 2016, the CCRB released a comprehensive data report for these complaints, breaking them down into categories like race, gender, precinct, and more.

The data goes back to 2006. In this ten-year period, there were a total of 192,000 allegations of police misconduct, or over 19,000 per year. The data also reveals that in far too many cases, these complaints are not adequately investigated. In 2015, 58 percent of the 5,235 complaints against the NYPD were not fully investigated.

This is why so many victims of police misconduct are forced to turn to the civil court system. The culture of the NYPD prioritizes covering up the transgressions of their “bad apple” officers, rather than seeking true justice for victims. Our New York City personal injury lawyers help victims get the justice they deserve.

Can Lawsuits Help Deter Police Misconduct?

In an ideal world, the police force would appropriately punish officers who abuse their power. But in reality, this rarely happens. Civil lawsuits for police misconduct can help demand accountability from individual officers and their departments. When victims speak out and take abusive police officers to court, those officers may lose their badge. Additionally, police departments are likely to take police-community relations more seriously when they face liability.

This means that a lawsuit can achieve much more than providing financial compensation for an individual victim. Taking legal action can help protect others from suffering injuries or wrongful death at the hands of abusive police officers in the future.