Recently, there have been a couple of publicized cases involving police brutality in New York. The first involved a million-dollar award made to a Syracuse man who received injuries at the hands of a state trooper in 2001.
The second case is more recent. A Queens judge is alleging that he is the victim of police brutality in New York City when a police officer struck him in the throat. The judge said he witnessed the officers beating a homeless man who was wielding a pipe. The homeless man has also lodged a police brutality complaint over the incident, which took place in Elmhurst in June of this year.
What do these two cases show about police brutality?
These seem to be two very different cases, and they are. But they prove a couple of things to be true regarding police brutality in New York.
The first is that it might take a long time to settle your case. Eleven years to settle the case of the man in the first example. Tenacity pays off. Most lawyers will take your case on contingency, so you won’t be out any money upfront. (More about contingency fees here.)
Secondly, anyone can be the victim of police brutality, from the person being arrested to a bystander. The judge was a witness who says he was trying to keep the crowd that had gathered from encroaching on the officers when one of them mistook him for a vocal protester. This does not, however, excuse the police officer or justify his action.
What to do if you think you have a case
If you feel you have just cause to bring a case against a policeman or state trooper, the best thing to do is to consult with an experienced police brutality attorney in New York to discuss your case and the next steps in recovering damages.