Police Brutality Lawsuit Reaches Settlement

New Orleans Police Department squad car at New Orleans Pride, by flickr user Tony Webster, licensed by Creative Commons.

“It’s hard to be a saint in the city”

An 11-year dispute finally reached a resolution in the amount of $13.3 million. The lawsuit against the city of New Orleans was filed in the days following Hurricane Katrina. Seventeen plaintiffs in the suit brought allegations against the city, claiming it was responsible for “wrongful deaths and injuries, deprivation of civil rights and lost wages caused by instances of police brutality.” The three major complaints referenced in the lawsuit include a police-related shooting, resulting in the amputation of one woman’s arm and the deaths of two men on the Danziger Bridge; the cover-up of the shooting of a gentleman named Henry Glover; and the beating and death of a gentleman named Raymond Robair, by a police officer. Read More

NY Judge Prevents Police Officers From Stop and Frisk in the Bronx

In God We Trust by Flickr user Just Deon, licensed by Creative Commons

       New York Courtroom

Picture yourself walking in the Bronx borough of New York heading to your home or apartment and a police officer stops you and asks to search you.  He is searching you because he thinks you look suspicious and you might be holding a firearm.  Is this fair for the police officer to stop you and frisk you?  A New York Judge, Shira Scheindlin, says no. She has put a halt to searches and frisking, deeming it unconstitutional and a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

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Unconstitutional Search Leads to Lawsuit

Decorative Scales of Justice in the Courtroom

Courtroom

To quote an exhilarating and thrilling movie of our time, Superbad, “I assume you all have guns and cocaine.”  This thought might have been running through State Troopers David Farrell and Kelley Helleson’s minds when they pulled over Angel Dobbs and Ashley Dobbs.  The two women are suing the Texas State troopers for an unconstitutional body cavity search.  They were pulled over for littering with cigarette butts on a highway in Irving, Texas.  The state troopers suspected the two ladies of smelling like marijuana so they felt it necessary to pull them out of the car and search them.  Angel Dobbs passed the sobriety test and the car was searched.  They then continued to search their persons, going so far as to reach in their genitals.  The women claim that State Trooper Kelley Helleson did not even change gloves when she searched each girl.  Angel and Ashley are now suing for the humiliation and violation that was caused during the search.

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Civil Rights Lawyers Get Settlement for Breach of Their Civil Rights

A protester arrested by riot police

If there’s one subset of the American public on whom corrupt police officers might want to go easy re: civil rights violations, it would probably be civil rights lawyers.  Unfortunately, some overzealous Brooklyn cops didn’t get the memo.  In 2008, Sgt. Steven Talvy tackled a man in the course of an arrest and, after shackling the now-subdued, peaceful, and compliant man, kicked him right in the face.  This excessive force was witnessed by Michael and Evelyn Warren, the aforementioned civil rights lawyers, who then approached Talvy and informed him that he was being pretty brutal as an officer of the law, suggesting that he take the suspect to the precinct instead of, say, beating him to within an inch of his life.  After weighing this constructive criticism for a moment, Talvy flew into a rage, punching them both repeatedly in the face and arresting them for “disorderly conduct”.

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Banned Basketball Mom Wins $63k in Civil Rights Settlement

A Pittsburgh mother who was banned from her daughter’s high school basketball games has won a $63,500 settlement with her school district in a discrimination dispute.  Diane Wickstrom claimed that she was banned from the school’s basketball games and practices for no just cause after she sent an email concerning her daughter’s team.  After the email, the Peters Township Athletic Association imposed a new rule closing practices to the public, which Wickstrom claimed was enforced exclusively on her.  Lawyers for the basketball mom argued that the banning was an infringement on her First Amendment rights, with the ban occurring under “false premises”.  As part of the settlement, the township’s insurer will pay Wickstrom $55,000 and the school district $8,500, and Wickstrom, of course, has been readmitted to her daughter’s basketball games.

Read more at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.