Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.

Articles Tagged with new york police brutality

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NYPD1Disciplinary records of NYPD officers who committed police brutality, abuse or misconduct have been kept secret from the public until last month. Last June, Governor Cuomo signed a bill to repeal section 50-A of the New York Civil Rights Law that was protecting police officers and firefighters who committed misconduct by keeping their record hidden from the public (see previous blog).

After that law was repealed, Pro Publica obtained all the records from every active-duty officer who had at least one substantiated allegation against them between September 1985 and January 2020. With these records, Pro Publica created a fully searchable database. The database can be searched by officer name, badge number or by precinct. The database can be searched here.

A total of 3,996 officers who logged a total of 12,056 complaints are listed in the database

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protest against police brutalityUntil last week New York police officers who committed misconduct or abuse had their disciplinary reports kept secret from the public. It is not the case anymore. Governor Cuomo signed a bill on Friday to immediately repeal provision 50-a of the New York Civil Rights Law  that was shielding  police officers, correction officers or firefighters with a history of misconduct from public accountability.  Some elements such as the address of the police officer as well as his phone number and medical history will not be made public for understandable reasons.

I Can’t Breath

The repeal of 50-a is following major protests not only in NY but across the nation against police brutality toward black people and systematic racism and injustice.  On May 25th, the murder of Georges Floyd caught on video and showing former Minneapolis police officer  Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than 8 minutes while he was begging him to stop and telling him he couldn’t breath, started nationwide protests that are still going one as today.

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NYPD logoNYPD killed an emotionally disturbed man who was holding a knife and a fake gun yesterday night in the Bronx. The killing was recorded on official NYPD cameras.

A landlord worrying that he hadn’t seen his tenant for a long time called 911 to ask the police to check on him. Two officers showed up at  a building located on Pratt Ave. When they entered the tenant’s apartment around 4:00 pm  they found a disturbed 31 year old man holding a knife in his hands. His other hand was hidden behind his back. The officers noticed it was a small gun and asked the man if it was real. For an hour the two officers tried to negotiate with the man, asking him to drop his knife and come out. They finally asked for back up. According to the police, when more officers showed up, the man aimed the silver pistol at the cops. At this point one officer fired his taser and two others their service weapons, striking the man several times. The video hasn’t been released yet. Police recovered the knife and a toy gun. The video footage hasn’t been released by the NYPD yet. Read more in the NY Daily News

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New York police brutalizing a girlPolice brutality is highly suspected in a case during which a NYPD sergeant tased a 17 year old pregnant girl. A disturbing video shows a girl cuffed and tased with at least 10 cops around her looking at the scene without intervening. An internal investigation was opened and witnesses were interviewed by internal affairs yesterday. So far no one was disciplined.

The police were called in a Bronx building for an unrelated asthma attack.  They came across a fight between two men and called for additional backup. 17 year old Rosalia was the sister of one of them and was in the apartment with them. For some unclear reason the police cuffed her and tried to arrest her. She told them she didn’t do anything and that she was pregnant. As she resisted being arrested, the cops tased her with a X26 stun gun. She suffered burn injuries. She also told the NY Daily News that the “The hook was embedded into my skin so they had to cut it to take both the Tasers (barbs) out.”

Read more in the NY Daily News

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police brutality signPolice misconduct lawsuits cost New York City $ 228.5 million last fiscal year according to the recently released Mayor’s Management Report. This amount accounts for a third of all city lawsuits.  As a comparison this number was $86.5 million in 2005.  In a recent article, the Gothamist explains that this staggering number is not related to recent cases but to older ones.  Some cases can take up to 10 years to reach a conclusion. For example cases of police brutality and mistreatment during the 2004 Republican National Convention cost the city half a billion dollars over the years and took 10 years to be resolved. Often one big profile case can also represent a big chunk of the yearly amount. During the last fiscal year, for example, the city paid $40 million for 5 men wrongly convicted for the murder of a taxi driver in the Bronx.

In an attempt to reduce this ballooning amount, the city comptroller Scott Stringer has launched ClaimStat, a new program to record and analyze lawsuits against the police. With ClaimStat, Stringer is trying to figure out what is the most advantageous for the city: settle or fight a lawsuit. The NYPD also created a legal unit to assist the NYC Corporation Counsel in investigating cases.

Recently complaints for police brutality in New York City have been globally declining. The Mayor’s Management Report indicates that during the last fiscal year there were 4,711 complaints to the Civilian Complaint Review Board and 2,933 lawsuits against the NYPD compared to respectively 5,700 and 3,600 in 2012.  However despite a decline in CCRB complaints the number of substantiated complaints increased significantly. From 315  during the 2014 fiscal year it jumped to 531 last year.

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altonsterlingPhilando CastilleAlton Sterling and Philando Castille are the two most recent victims of an epidemic of police brutality and discrimination against African Americans all over this country. These two men died this week in two separate incidents during which both of them were literally executed by the police.

On Tuesday a gruesome video circulated among social media and news channels showing two policemen from Baton Rouge, Louisiana murdering Alton Sterling while they were  holding him down on the ground. The video shows that he was not resisting.

A day later, Philando Castille was in his car with his wife and daughter in Falcon Heighth, Minesota, when he got stopped by the police for a a defective tail light. As he was reaching to his back pocket get his I.D in his wallet the cop  shot him for no reason. His wife streamed a video live on Facebook as he was dying in front of her.

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police%20brutality.jpgPolice brutality and racial profiling continue to happen in New York City because cops can get away with it. Since 1999 when Amadou Diallo died after being shot at 41 times and hit 19 by the police, 179 additional people have been killed by on duty New York Police Officers but only 3 of them have been indicted and 1 of them was convicted but he never went to jail according to an investigation conducted by the NY Daily News. 27% of the victims were unarmed, 86% were black or Hispanic.

Most of the time police officers get away with their crime because the prosecutors and the police need each other to do their job. Advocacy groups have been asking the creation of a special prosecutor to handle such cases.

Our firm represented the mother of Amadou Diallo, in the video below, New York Police Brutality Lawyer Anthony Gair discusses police misconduct, stop and frisk and racial profiling in an interview with Court TV.

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Two New York police officers have been charged for assault and police misconduct after they were caught on tape beating Kahreem Tribble, a 16 year old teenager with their fists and a gun (see video below). David Afanador and Tyrane Isaac were caught on a video chasing and catching the teenager on a Crown Heights street. After the boy surrendered, one of the cops is seen throwing a punch at the boy’s face before his colleague joined in, whipping his head with a drawn pistol.

Brooklyn DA Kenneth Thompson said the video was troubling and “if any police officer has crossed the line – we have to hold him accountable”.

Afanador was charged with felony assault and misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a weapon and official misconduct. He faces up to seven years in prison.