NYC Settles Lawsuit for $75000 Over 2013 Police Chokehold

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Brooklyn man gets $75K in NYPD chokehold suit.

NEW YORK (AP) — The city of New York has agreed to pay a Brooklyn man $75,000 to settle a lawsuit claiming he was choked and unable to breathe during a 2013 encounter with police. The city has settled with a Brooklyn father who claims police officers placed him in an illegal chokehold in 2013, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle has learned. A federal judge approved the settlement last week, and New York City Law Department spokesman Nick Paolucci said that “based on an evaluation of the case, it was determined that the settlement was in the best interests of the city.” Attorney Jeffrey Rothman said Monday that the settlement for Kevin Dennis-Palmer Sr. was “another example of a black man choked and beaten down into the ground.” The lawsuit was filed in May before the death of Eric Garner last summer, whose treatment by police and a grand jury decision not to indict any officers prompted nationwide protests.

I can’t breathe!” Kevin Dennis-Palmer said he gasped in the Feb. 9, 2013 incident — more than a year before Staten Island dad Eric Garner died with those same last words after being put in a chokehold. “It makes you realize how truly blessed you are to get out of that situation,” Dennis-Palmer said of Garner,whose death last July touched off waves of demonstrations across the city. Kevin Dennis-Palmer asserted that during an unusual traffic stop, two officers in a marked police vehicle stopped him as he was attempting to parallel park his car in Brownsville where he lived. Dennis-Palmer says he tried to record the encounter via cellphone video, but further noted that during the encounter, “my phone is slapped out of my hand. The NYPD placed a ban on chokeholds in the early 1990s, but as a report by the NYPD inspector general revealed earlier this month, chokeholds are not only still used within the department, but also officers who use the banned measure are rarely disciplined. As reported by The Associated Press, the inspector general’s probe of 10 suspected chokehold cases in the past five years found that the Civilian Complaint Review Board — an NYPD watchdog agency — substantiated all of the chokehold claims and recommended disciplining the officers.

He was taken to the 75th Precinct stationhouse and booked for resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration, disorderly conduct and having windows that were too dark, a claim he denies. The suit says officers tried to pull him by his collar through a window and pepper sprayed him and slammed him to the street when he emerged from the car with his hands up.

In the Dennis-Palmer suit, the city and the NYPD do not admit any wrongdoing, but Dennis-Palmer’s attorney told the New York Daily News that “no one suit is what forces change. The suit said charges were brought against Dennis-Palmer alleging that his car was stopped because his windows were illegally tinted and that he resisted turning over driving credentials.

Inspector General Philip Eure also questioned why, in four of the 10 cases, cops wound up using chokeholds as a “first act” against citizens who’d only confronted them verbally, not physically. The criminal charges were later dismissed, according to court papers, after Dennis-Palmer went to a local emergency room for treatment of his contusions, abrasions, and lacerations to his head.

Reflecting on the case of Garner, who had screamed the same horrifying sentence, “I can’t breathe!”, Dennis-Palmer is grateful and sorrowed at the same time.

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