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Bronx Personal Injury & Real Estate Blog

Friday, April 21, 2017

When a Cop Dodges a Bullet

Q: How many levels of police brutality or misconduct charges can an officer face?

In New York, police officer misconduct and brutality accusations can expose the accused officer to several different types of charges, investigations and/or lawsuits.

In some cases, the police officer may be arrested and charged with a crime. The officer may also be subject to an internal police department investigation. Finally, the officer may be sued in a civil personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, depending on whether the alleged victim was injured or killed as a result of the officer’s actions or inaction.

Examples of incidents which may give rise to allegations of police brutality or misconduct include excessive force, false arrest, false imprisonment, wrongful shootings, Taser injuries, high-speed police car chases, racial profiling and improper police activities.

Only the minimal amount of force required to control the situation is permitted according to police regulations. Exceeding that level, especially when detaining victims, could land an officer in legal or departmental hot water—or both.

We previously reported in this blog of a Bronx police officer involved in a questionable police shooting of a teenager he believed was armed. The officer’s single gunshot to the chest killed the young man in his family’s apartment.

In the few years since the incident, manslaughter charges against the officer were dropped and the family’s wrongful death lawsuit was settled for nearly $4 million. The final open matter was the internal police department investigation and what, if any, punishment would be levied against the officer. And now that matter is closed as well.

Reportedly, after being found guilty of departmental charges that he "exercised poor tactical judgment leading up to the discharge of his firearm" and "acted with intent to cause serious physical injury leading to the death" of the victim, the officer managed to resign prior to being fired.. The victim’s mother was livid that the officer was able to leave on his own terms – – through resignation instead of being fired. Unsatisfied that the officer responsible for her son’s death as well as other involved officers were not fired, the mother allegedly pledged to campaign against the mayor come re-election time.

If you feel that you were a victim of police misconduct or brutality, The Goldstein Law Firm in Bronx, New York can help. Call us at 718-239-0239 for a free consultation. We serve clients throughout New York as well as those injured while in New York.


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