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Civil Rights

Civil Rights

We fight for clients whose civil rights have been denied within New York State and beyond. Such cases include false arrest, use of excessive force, and the right to due process. Our goal is to hold accountable those who have intentionally violated our client’s basic civil rights. We also advise clients on their rights and freedoms, as a tool of empowerment and education.

Victories

Mr. Johnson was walking home from a party in the Bronx when suddenly a NYPD cruiser pulled up and an officer inside beckoned him. Mr. Johnson approached the cruiser to see what the police wanted. When he was next to the cruiser the officer in the passenger seat hurled a racial epithet and then slapped Mr. Johnson in the face. Mr. Johnson turned and ran from the officers, but they chased him, threw him to the ground, and proceeded to mace him and beat him with nightsticks, causing serious injury. Mr. Johnson was then taken into custody and held for 24 hours. All charges against Mr. Johnson were dropped. Fortunately, a witness nearby captured the beating on video, and Mr. Johnson brought suit against the City and the officers for excessive force and false imprisonment.

VICTORY: The parties settled the case for $50,000.

Mr. Holloman was walking on a New York City street on his way to his family’s home when he was yelled at by members of the NYPD, one of whom proceeded to strike Mr. Holloman in the head from behind. While Mr. Holloman was still on the ground, a NYPD sergeant punched him in the face repeatedly, with no cause or justification. Other officers at the scene beat Mr. Holloman as well, causing severe injuries. The officers then took Mr. Holloman into custody and discouraged him from seeking medical attention, telling him that doing so would extend his detention. Mr. Holloman was held in custody for 24 hours before being released. All charges were dismissed. Plaintiff brought suit against the City and the officers alleging violations of the Constitution as well as various state law claims, including assault.

VICTORY: Plaintiff won a favorable verdict on his false arrest claim at trial.

Pending Cases

Mr. Soto-Muniz was imprisoned by the State of New Jersey. While in custody, he suffered from colitis. Mr. Soto-Muniz made frequent trips to the prison health clinic to have his condition checked, and repeatedly the staff failed to diagnose and treat him properly. Mr. Soto-Muniz’s health began to deteriorate, and he made repeated requests for medical attention. Each time, he was referred to the prison staff doctor, who did nothing and eventually began to berate Mr. Soto-Muniz. Despite clear signs that his health was failing and that intervention was required, defendants ignored Mr. Soto-Muniz’s worsening condition and failed to send him to a hospital for proper care. Ultimately, the condition got so bad that Mr. Soto-Muniz was forced to undergo radical surgery, and for the rest of his life will experience pain and have to use a colostomy bag. In his complaint, Mr. Soto-Muniz alleges violations of the Constitution as well as a claim against the New Jersey Department of Correction alleging cruel and unusual punishment.

STATUS: The case is currently on appeal.

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