New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

New York Civil Rights And Criminal Law Blog

Rochester lawsuit seeks to stop community victimization by police

Police misconduct and brutality are grim encounters where the law oversteps its authority, but the problem might go deeper. Efforts to reduce these encounters or reform police culture represent a constant battle between communities and their law enforcement. According to ABC7 NY, a potentially class-wide suit accuses officials and law enforcement of a deliberate indifference towards a culture of police brutality. Protecting property — policing people The plaintiffs of the lawsuit believe a recent reform plan lacks substance and ignores past proposals from the Police Accountability Board....

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Law ends long-term solitary confinement in New York

Starting in March 2022, New York state law will prohibit correctional facilities from isolating inmates for more than 15 days. The bill, signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on April 1, 2021, comes after years of activism aimed at ending solitary confinement in the state. Review the provisions of the bill and its impact on New York inmates. The effect on the prison population Incarcerated individuals and their advocates have long protested the isolation of inmates in New York prisons and nationwide. These groups cite the racial inequities in the solitary confinement system. According to data...

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Your rights when police arrest you

Your rights may never be more valuable to you than when you are under arrest. Suddenly, every word you say sparks suspicion. Police may even record your conversation with them.   Civil rights advocates agree that the best thing to do when police question you is to keep silent. In fact, for more than 50 years, the law has required police to advise you how risky it is to speak when you are under arrest. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling called Miranda v. Arizona established that police must warn you your rights are at risk during your arrest.   When should police read me my Miranda rights?  The...

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Police misconduct during the George Floyd protests

The protests against police brutality in New York City generated their own conflict and controversy. This centered on allegations by various parties against the NYPD for mishandling security for the demonstrations. The investigations into police misconduct face a unique set of challenges. Sources close to the issue say this is due to a combination of remote working, non-cooperation and identification challenges. A challenging situation Even in the best situation, pursuing and substantiating a case of police brutality might face resistance from within the NYPD. In the case of the George Floyd...

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Why does excessive force continue to be an issue?

After a recent news story about police fighting with a suspect in the subway, the topic of police brutality is at the forefront again. In this instance, according to the New York Post, a man was smoking in the subway when officers approached him, and he reacted in a way that led to aggressive actions on behalf of officers. According to law enforcement in this situation, the excessive force used was necessary. They say it was a response to aggressive actions by the suspect, which included spitting and hitting. However, there is video proof of the altercation that shows none of those actions...

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Is bail fair?

Going through an arrest can be a scary thing, as the thought of spending even one night in jail is frightening for many people. Sometimes after being arrested you may be released on your own recognizance. However, most defendants are required to post bail.   New York’s bail reform, which implemented some changes in 2019, underwent more changes in 2020. There is some worry that the bail reform may be unfair and land more people behind bars.  Overburdened jails are a problem  On any day in the United States, approximately two-thirds of the people in jail are waiting to have their day in court....

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4 reasons to refuse a field sobriety test

A police officer must have a good reason to pull you over. Perhaps you made an illegal turn, you drove through a stop sign or your car’s headlight is out. In any of these cases, the officer will likely check your driver’s license and registration, give you a citation or a warning, and let you go on your way.  On the other hand, if the police officer asks if you have been drinking, you have every reason to be concerned. Police do not usually ask this question unless they already suspect that you are impaired, and they may be looking for probable cause to arrest you. That probable cause often...

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What rights do prisoners have?

Incarceration is a unique situation that limits some of your civil rights. However, there are various laws that could still give you some protection. Some of these laws go to the very highest level of our government. Here are a few examples. The Eighth Amendment As explained by the Cornell Legal Information Institute, the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution is one of the most important laws that protect your rights as a prisoner. It is one sentence long and, in the plainest of terms, it prevents cruel and unusual punishment. By extension, it also gives you the right to a basic...

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New York prisoners face deplorable conditions, health concerns

A New York prison stint is never supposed to be a picnic. However, there is an important distinction between you having to live in unfavorable conditions and you having to live in downright dangerous ones. A growing number of prisoner reports suggest that prisoners across the state are living in environments where they often lack access to even basic necessities, including heat and hot water. According to the Intercept, while a lack of hot water and heat are among the serious issues that may impact prisoners' health, many New York jails and prisons also lack other essential supplies. Some of...

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Are police looking for you using facial recognition?

If you live in New York, you may have even more reason to wear your face mask these days. Despite growing concerns over the untrustworthiness of the technology and outcry over its misuse, law enforcement agencies continue to use facial recognition software to identify and track those suspected of committing crimes. Unfortunately, the flaws in the technology too often lead to mistakes, wrongful arrests and violations of civil rights. Many cities in other states have banned the use of facial recognition, and others have placed restrictions of various levels on its use by law enforcement. In...

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