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The New York City police department continues to deal with the aftermath of a police brutality incident that ended in the death of an unarmed individual. In August, an officer involved in the arrest was fired following a recommendation the officer “can no longer effectively serve” the community. While relieved that the firing brought some “closure” to the scandal, many citizens have expressed dismay at the five-year delay in departmental action.
Allegations of excessive force first arose immediately following the 2014 incident in which Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, died at the hands of the arresting officers. While being arrested for selling untaxed cigarettes, officers placed Garner in a chokehold while bringing him to the ground. During the struggle, Garner and another officer crashed into a glass window. Video shows Garner pleading with officers repeating “I can’t breathe” over ten times before losing consciousness in the chokehold. The recently fired officer allegedly refused to relax his grip, even after Garner was no longer a threat to the police. With clasped hands, the officer continued to maintain the chokehold.
Critics of excessive policing point out that the Garner case is not an isolated incident. Other deaths resulting from alleged police brutality, including those of a Brooklyn man run over by police, a man shot in a bathroom whose crime was possessing marijuana, and a groom who was shot 50 times the day before his wedding under the mistaken belief his wallet was a gun, contribute to the growing outcry. All of these recent events have occurred against the backdrop of a long history of police violence disproportionately affecting minority communities.
Police misconduct occurs every day in this nation. In New York City alone, nearly 1,700 complaints alleging excessive use of force are filed against police officers each year. Individuals who experience police brutality deserve justice for the violation of their civil rights. Police internal investigations rarely result in satisfying results for victims of police misconduct.
By filing a civil lawsuit against abusive police officers and police departments who commit negligence by failing to adequately train or supervise their employees, survivors of police brutality can begin to heal. In addition to the costs of medical treatment, psychological counseling, and lost wages, many police brutality victims are entitled to compensation for their emotional distress and punitive damages.
If you or a loved one has experienced police brutality, help is available. The experienced Philadelphia police brutality lawyers at Williams Cedar will stand by your side as you seek the justice you deserve. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we proudly represent police brutality victims and their families throughout South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and nationwide. To schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Philadelphia police brutality lawyer, call us today at 215-557-0099 or 856-470-9777 or submit an online contact form.