Police brutality is defined as “unwarranted or excessive and often illegal use of force against civilians.”
New York, NY – The city of New York has agreed to pay $387,000 to settle a police brutality lawsuit brought by a local woman who was violently shoved to the ground during the George Floyd protests in May 2020. The case triggered an uproar after video footage of the incident became viral. The video showed officer Vincent D’Andraia using both arms to aggressively push her into a street curb near the Barclays Center. The victim, 22-year-old Dounya Zayer, can be seen flailing backward, landing hard on the pavement, then holding her head with both hands.
Officer D’Andraia will have to personally pay $3,000, but the rest of the money will come from the city council.
The incident is particularly troubling as the video clearly shows a man in a white shirt, identified as D’Andraia’s superior, witnessed the violence and had no reaction. This is the main problem if you are a victim of police brutality in New York City. The NYPD is unlikely to rule in your favor when you file a claim.
Following the George Floyd protests, the Civilian Complaint Review Board received over 300 complaints of police brutality. Only a third of the complaints have so far been investigated and the officers, in most cases, escaped with a mere slap on the wrist.
If you were recently involved in a violent incident with the NYPD, you should talk to experienced New York police brutality lawyers and file a lawsuit.
How is police brutality defined in New York City?
Police brutality is defined as “unwarranted or excessive and often illegal use of force against civilians.” It constitutes a violation of your civil rights, as guaranteed under the 4th Amendment to the Constitution.
Law enforcement agents have a dangerous job and they sometimes need to use force in the course of their duty. However, they are only permitted to use a reasonable amount of force, corresponding to the level of threat they are faced with.
The use of a two-hands shove against an unarmed female protester clearly represents an unreasonable amount of force. During the 2020 protests, NYPD made liberal use of batons, pepper sprays, or tasers against unarmed civilians, which explains the high number of complaints filed by peaceful protesters.
If you want to file a complaint or a lawsuit, you should seek legal advice from a knowledgeable police brutality lawyer in New York.
How can a lawyer help me?
Your lawyers will gather the evidence you need, starting with the body cam footage, if the officer did wear such a camera and it was working. Many times you will be shocked to hear there was a mysterious malfunction and there is no footage of the incident. Your lawyers will also check out the surveillance cameras in the area, but they need to act fast or the footage might get deleted. As part of their investigation, your attorneys will examine the agent’s record to see whether they had been charged with police brutality before and had been sanctioned in any way. This type of information can be used to prove there was a pattern of violent behavior. If their superiors knew about this and did nothing, you can sue the police department and they will be liable for damages.
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