Wrongful arrests and criminal convictions represent the dark side of the U.S. justice system. But a recent move by Manhattan’s top attorney takes one bold step toward addressing this injustice.
Last week, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg threw out more than 300 criminal convictions tied to NYPD police officers found guilty of crimes. The nine officers involved were convicted of several on-the-job offenses such as taking bribes, lying under oath, illegal gun sales and planting drugs on suspects – they’re no longer on the force following their convictions.
In total, the DA disavowed 308 misdemeanor cases. Some of the dropped cases go as far back as 1996. The move is part of a greater effort by New York’s DAs to dismiss over 1,200 cases connected to the convicted officers that led to charges or convictions.
Bragg announced that his office is also considering a similar dismissal for eight felony cases connected to the nine convicted officers.
Handling wrongful arrest and detention
Whether you’re one of the individuals exonerated by the district attorney’s decision or currently facing a wrongful arrest, you could hold the officer responsible for the mistake. False arrests and detentions are violations of your civil rights.
Some false arrests might also involve misconduct on the part of the officers. Examples of misconduct include acts of intimidation, police brutality, unlawful search and seizure processes, planting evidence, and even racial profiling.
You can file a lawsuit against the officer in response to a wrongful arrest. But this type of lawsuit can be complicated to handle on your own because you’ll need knowledge of police procedures to determine why your arrest was unconstitutional. Consider contacting a lawyer educated on police procedures and civil rights to represent you.