Minnesota Woman Sues for Police Misconduct

Posted in Police Misconduct at 11:20 am by kevin

Approximately 1 new personal injury lawsuit is filed every 2 seconds throughout the United States, and the third most common claims are assault-related. Based on statistics, there is a very high number of assault claims each year, and there were over 2 million of them in 2010 alone.

Personal injury cases arise when a person suffers harm that is inflicted by someone else. It can be resolved through informal settlement, but will become a full-blown legal dispute when it is formalized through civil court proceedings.

But what if the injury came from the very people whom you were supposed to trust with your life? Do you have a chance of winning against individuals whose job is to uphold the law, including personal protection?

Tamra Welbig filed a lawsuit against the Brookings Police Department, claiming that they allegedly slammed her to the pavement and then falsely charged her with felony. The federal lawsuit centers on false arrest, excessive force, violation of free speech and violation of civil rights.

In a federal complaint, it was stated that officers’ Jordan McCaskill, Jordan Hansen and another cop was sent to the plaintiff’s apartment to provide medical assistance. At that time, Welbig was in the passenger seat of a Dodge Durango. When one of the officers stepped into her apartment to perform a search, she pulled herself forward to the seat, while telling the police officers that they are not permitted to enter her apartment.

It was at this point, when officers’ McCaskill and Hansen pulled her out of the vehicle, secured her arms to the side, and then pushed her to the ground. She was allegedly pushed with such force that it “caused her face to bounce off the concrete”. Even if she wasn’t resisting, Officer Hansen allegedly placed his full body weight and knee on Welbig’s back to handcuff her.

The two officers then proceeded to drag Welbig to the ambulance, with her feet scraping the pavement and bleeding as a result.

Due to severe physical pain and injury to her face, Welbig was taken to Brookings Hospital where she received treatment for her injuries.

The lawsuit claims that detaining Ms Welbig was “excessive and much more extensive than reasonably necessary”. It also alleges that the felony charges against the plaintiff were all fabricated to cover up the officers’ actions. There were no witnesses interviewed, and the sworn testimony given by another officer contradicts police reports.

Following the incident, Welbig was charged with simple assault against law enforcement, which should have been the other way around, based on her complaint. The arrest happened in 2012. She was acquitted of the assault charge six months later.

The lawsuit seeks compensation for damages, although there is no dollar figure specified.

The Brookings Police Department denied all allegations, only responding to say that defendants “are protected by the doctrine of qualified immunity”, making them immune from the lawsuit filed by the plaintiff.

What are the odds that an individual can win against police officers? With the right personal injury lawyer, those odds can be in favor of Tamra Welbig.






Prior Excessive Force Allegation Could Have Saved Victim

Posted in Police Misconduct at 4:08 pm by kevin

North Carolina man says excessive force allegation about a police officer should have been taken more seriously and may have saved a life.

According to the Washington Times, “In September 2013, Mario Givens filed a complaint against North Charleston Police Officer Michael Slager for allegedly slamming him on the ground, dragging him and using a stun gun on him as officers searched for a burglary suspect inside Mr. Givens‘ home, Reuters reported.

“The complaint was dismissed after a brief investigation, but Mr. Slager was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder of 50-year-old Scott, bringing renewed interest to Mr. Givens‘ case.”



Words Will Never Hurt Me Atlantic City Police Beating

Posted in Police Misconduct at 11:56 am by kevin

The family of a student is suing Atlantic City police for a beating and mauling he took while outside of the Tropicana Casino. After the youth had some words with police at least four to five officers attacked him with fists, night sticks and even a police dog requiring over 200 stitches. Police claim the young man was resisting arrest.

According to ABC Local, “Court records show the K-9 officer has been involved had 15 prior complaints related to excessive force or assault, but he was exonerated in all those cases. That officer, Sterling Wheaton, still has five additional suits pending against him …

“…The mayor of Atlantic City called the video ‘disturbing’ and asked the state’s attorney general to oversee that investigation.”

A professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice commented upon seeing the video that the police dog was not necessary and constituted deadly force.



DC Police Accused of Knocking Over Motorbike Riders

Posted in Police Misconduct at 3:32 pm by kevin

There is a new lawsuit against Washington DC police officers alleging that they are knocking young black males off of their motorbikes.

According to WJLA, “Now, a number of former riders are speaking out about a tactic they allege D.C. police officers are using in order to discourage this type of riding. According to a recently filed $100 million class-action lawsuit against the city, some officers are reportedly chasing down and knocking riders off their bikes with their cruisers …

“Attorney David Shurtz does not condone illegal riding, but said that targeting riders with deadly force for a minor offense is outrageous and indicative of racial profiling.”

The Washington DC police were asked for comment and said they do not comment on pending litigation.





ACLU Files Lawsuit Against L. A. County Sheriff

Posted in Police Misconduct at 4:06 pm by kevin

Los Angeles County Sheriff, Lee Baca is under fire from the local American Civil Liberties Union regarding abuse of prisoners in the county jail. This police misconduct case has been brewing for months.

According to Southern California Public Radio (SCPR), “The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California Wednesday filed a federal civil rights lawsuit that accuses Sheriff Lee Baca of failing to stop a ‘pattern and practice of deputy-on-inmate violence’ inside L.A. County jails.

“Baca is responsible for the operation of the jails. His deputies act as guards. The suit also names three of Baca’s top commanders.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of inmates, says Baca and his commanders ‘are aware of the culture of deputy violence that pervades the jails but have failed to take reasonable measures to remedy the problem.’ The suit says the sheriff is in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, which provide citizens reasonable protection from violence and excessive force.

A group of deputies within the jail called the “3000 Boys” is responsible, according to the lawsuit, for the abuse of prisoners. The lawsuit also alleges Sheriff Baca knew of this group and did little to stop them.


Visiting Professor Sues Over Non Lethal Use of Force

Posted in Police Misconduct at 3:31 pm by kevin

A visiting professor to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA is suing the police department over an incident that happened two years ago. According to the lawsuit, police officers and their superiors tried to disperse protesters using a non-lethal weapon.

The non-lethal weapon in question is called a Long Range Acoustic Device which “emits harmful, pain-inducing sounds over long distances.” The visiting professor, one Karen Piper claims that even though she wasn’t part of the protest, she was on the receiving end of the acoustic device.

As a consequence Piper states that she had suffered permanent hearing damage. The incident happened during a Group of 20 economic summit on campus in September 1999.


NYPD Stop and Frisk Lawsuit Filed

Posted in Police Misconduct at 5:20 pm by kevin

The ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the New York Police Department (NYPD) for their “Stop and Frisk” program citing it as unconstitutional. The Taxi/Livery Inspection Program (TRIP) was originally put into place to deter criminals from robbing cab drivers.

However, cab drivers are now complaining that they and their passengers are being pulled over and frisked without cause.

According to the NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman, “Over the past few years, NYPD officers have stopped and frisked millions of innocent people for walking in the wrong neighborhood at the wrong time, and now the Department has extended this unlawful practice to passengers in livery cars. It’s just another disturbing example of the NYPD’s campaign of excessive and racially lopsided policing, and we’re confident the courts will put a stop to it.”

The two men named in the lawsuit who were pulled out of cabs by the NYPD include a black radio host and a lawyer.


Tenaha Texas Police Named in Shakedown Lawsuit

Posted in Police Misconduct at 11:11 pm by kevin

Police officers, prosecutors and even the mayor in Tehana, Texas are being named in a police misconduct lawsuit that involves the shakedown of minority drivers passing through the town of 1,000 people. More than 150 people from 2007 to the present are alleged to be part of a systematic and conspiratorial fleecing by police officers.

The police officers are said in the lawsuit to have taken cash and jewelry from the people passing through and making them sign waivers under duress. Several of the victims have said that police threatened to turn their children over to Child Protective Services unless the parents signed the waivers. A disproportionate number of blacks and Latinos were pulled over and made to pay up, according to the suit.


Taser Product Liability Suit Gets $6 Million Award

Posted in Police Misconduct, Products Liability, Wrongful Death at 8:15 am by kevin

In San Jose, California a federal jury awarded the family of Robert Heston, Jr. $6 million after the man died due in part to being repeatedly tasered by police. Taser International of Scottsdale, Arizona the maker of the taser guns were found to be responsible in the death of Heston.

According to the jury, Taser International failed to inform police that its product could be dangerous when used upon someone who was on drugs or in combination with chest compressions. Heston was tasered as many as 30 times after police were called to the scene.


Georgia Prisoners File Lawsuit Against Guards

Posted in Police Misconduct at 4:44 pm by kevin

Georgia prisoners have filed a class-action lawsuit against corrections officers for allegedly beating and torturing the inmates. The lawsuit tells a story of routine beatings of restrained inmates along with deprivation of food and water throughout the state.

The charges also allege that over 40 guards sought to cover up the beatings by denying photographs of the affected inmates and denying visits with family members. The suit says guards used nightsticks, combat boots and special “beating gloves” to attack inmates.

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