It is not often that a police officer is arrested and brought before the court on criminal charges. When such an incident does occur, chances are that the officer’s alleged behavior has raised some serious questions about the limits of proper police conduct. A New York City undercover detective and a 10-year veteran of the force was arrested on October 8 in connection with a violent episode involving a motorcycle gang and a SUV driver. The New York Times reports on October 8, 2013 that the detective now stands accused of criminal mischief, assault, and gang assault and has been suspended from the force without pay.
The alleged incident began for a young couple and their two year-old daughter on September 29 as they drove along Manhattan’s West Side Highway in their SUV. According to foxnews on October 9,2013, two dozen motorcycle riders swarmed the family’s vehicle, accosting its occupants and claiming that the Range Rover had bumped a fellow biker. Fearing for the life of his family, the driver of the SUV took off, running over a motorcyclist and seriously injuring him. The biker gang pursued the Range Rover, smashing its windows, dragging the driver out of the vehicle and beating and kicking him in the street. Among those involved in damaging the SUV and terrorizing the vehicle’s occupants was an off-duty undercover detective. The New York Times states that the officer waited several days after the attack before coming forward. He also lied about his involvement in the assault, saying he had left before it began. The Times further describes a video of the attack, later viewed by investigators, in which the officer is seen breaking the rear window of the SUV with his fist and kicking the passenger side door.
“The detective’s actions are reprehensible on so many levels,” said New York City personal injury lawyer Adam Orlow. “He betrayed a public trust, damaged private property and, worst of all, he caused the occupants of the vehicle to fear for their own safety. This type of behavior is completely contrary to the standards for proper police conduct.” Orlow went on to suggest that the detective might be liable for civil rights violation damages in addition to criminal penalties.
“Generally, law enforcement officers are immune from lawsuits unless their actions are shown to be willful and unreasonable.” Says Orlow. Police misconduct, which includes police brutality, is a direct violation of departmental regulations. Willful and unreasonable police conduct also harms civilians and may lead to a lawsuit against the police for civil rights remedies. According to attorney Orlow, the detective in this case has a great deal to answer for. “The police are allowed some leeway so that they can do their jobs without getting sued. But this officer was part of a group that caused the driver and his family to feel real terror. His conduct went way beyond lawful police work and constituted an attack on civil liberties.”
The attorneys at the Orlow firm are highly knowledgeable about police misconduct and the ways in which it can violate a citizen’s civil rights. If you or a loved one has been victimized by willful and unreasonable police behavior, contact the Orlow firm for a free consultation. They operate three offices across New York City for your convenience. They can go to you if you cannot come to them. To contact the Orlow firm, call 866-959-7202.
Ruth C. Stern – October 22, 2013
UncategorizedDecember 19, 2013