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August 2017 Archives

Man files police misconduct suit against White Plains police

A businessman from Westchester has filed a lawsuit against the White Plains police claiming police brutality. The multimillion-dollar lawsuit alleges that authorities brutalized the man without any reason. A lot of the incident was caught on surveillance camera.

Prisoner holding times and the right to receive a speedy trial

Every person accused of a crime will remain innocent until -- and only if -- he or she is proved to be guilty beyond reasonable doubt in court. However, when police arrest someone for allegedly committing a crime, the individual will temporarily lose the right to freedom.

Prisoners' Rights Practice

It's been a busy month for our prisoners' rights practice! The Sivin & Miller team was in The Bronx for two Riker's Island prisoner abuse cases as well as upstate New York to conduct extremely complicated federal court ordered discovery on several cases arising out of prison guard brutality at Attica and other upstate prisons. Both Riker's Island cases ended with huge success! One, a civil rights deliberate indifference case, settled on the eve of trial. It involved a corrections officer who stood by for several minutes as he observed our client (who weighed 140 pounds and was in a drug treatment program) get beaten by a larger and stronger prisoner. Our client's jaw was broken in two places and required surgery to install permanent plates and screws to keep his jaw stable. The other Riker's Island case, a civil rights excessive force case, was decided by a jury after a four day trial. Our client was beaten, while handcuffed, by a gang of corrections officers who were concerned that our client would snitch on one of their fellow officers. The one officer whom plaintiff was able to identify denied the allegations, but the jury correctly saw otherwise and decided in favor of our client with both a very well thought out compensatory damages award and an award for PUNITIVE DAMAGES against the defendant corrections officer. We were pleased with the outcome and excited to see the jury send a message to the Department of Corrections.

Alleged police misconduct: Did a Baltimore officer plant drugs?

A Baltimore police officer has been accused of planting evidence at the scene of an arrest. The accusations come following police body camera footage that appears to show the officer throwing a bag of illegal drugs on the ground near where officers arrested a man on drug charges in January.

How does the Fourth Amendment protect me?

The Fourth Amendment is all about search and seizure and personal privacy as it applies to criminal law. If a law enforcement officer violates the Fourth Amendment in order to obtain evidence that will be used against you in criminal court, for example, this evidence may be thrown out and cannot be used against you.

Why body-worn cameras are not 100 percent effective

On the surface, it seems like a great idea for police officers in New York to wear body cameras, which would track their movements and behaviors and keep them accountable for abuses. That is in theory, at least. In practice, police officers do not always have their cameras on, and they can turn them on and off deliberately and with calculation.

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