Residents and tourists of New York rely on the police force to keep them safe. Whether it is during the day or night, at home or at a hotel, on the subway or walking on the street, police officers are looked at as a means to address crime in the city and create a safe place to live or visit. With this task comes much power, and with power comes responsibility. In some cases, this power is not used appropriately, resulting in an officer overstepping legal lines. This could give rise to false arrests, police brutality, police shootings and other civil rights violations by a police officer.
Concerns with the NYPD
According to reports, New York’s finest are also New York’s most fined. It was estimated that the city had to pay out nearly $70 million in 2019 alone just to settle suit arising from litigation against the police department.
This surge in settlements is related to the roughly 1,4000 lawsuits filed against the NYPD based on alleged police misconduct. These included claims of excessive use of force, assault, wrongful arrest and imprisonment and malicious prosecution. The data collected in this report did not include those matters that were settled outside of court between residents and the city. This could amount to hundreds, if not more, cases alleging police misconduct.
It was reported that of the 1,400 suits filed, one officer was named in more than 30 suits, costing the city more than $600,000. It was further reported that this officer’s demonstrated history of violating the constitutional rights of residents has not cost him his job.
Although they are referred to as New York’s finest, how police officers behave is not always the finest. This is not just a poor representation of the police force and the city in general; it can compromise rights and violate laws. If an individual believes that his or her civil rights have been violated through police misconduct, it is imperative to explore your legal rights and what actions can be taken.