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Friday, August 22, 2014

Brooklyn Man Who Was Arrested For 'Walking While Black' Accepts Five-Figure Settlement

The firm's client, Trevor L., today accepted the City of NY's five-figure settlement offer to finally resolve his Complaint that he was arrested in Brooklyn on February 28, 2014 for 'Walking While Black.' Earlier this year, Trevor had been on his way home from work and in the vicinity of Livingston Street, between Smith and Hoyt Streets when the Incident took place. Trevor maintained that NYPD Officers stopped him for no reason and asked him where he was going. Trevor then politely queried of the officers why he was being stopped and this apparently agitated the NYPD agents. Next, the NYPD officers twisted Trevor's arm behind his back and then charged him with disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental administration for screaming in pain.

When the officers frisked Trevor, their frisk and impermissible search revealed that Trevor had on his person: keys, $99 in cash and a debit card. Trevor was then taken to the 84th Precinct where he was processed and denied his right to make a phone call. At his criminal court arraignment, Trevor learned that he was also charged with jay walking, although he maintained that he was walking and crossing the street inside the crosswalk and with the crossing light for him to do so lit green to cross. At arraignment, the matter was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal and Trevor subsequently retained Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. to represent him in his civil action against the City of NY.

Prior to settlement, the City maintained that Trevor in fact did not have a green light to cross the street and therefore, the NYPD agents were justified in stopping him and subsequently arresting him. However, during a telephonic settlement conference with the Court, the parties agreed that a settlement was in the best interest of all parties, to resolve the case without the need for protracted litigation.

False arrests and stop and frisks continue to be a pervasive problem in the City of New York and victims can seek redress by filing lawsuits to redress their grievances.  


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

$2.75 Million Settlement in Riker's Island Inmate Death

The death of a 52 year old man who was being held at Riker's Island resulted in a $2.75 million dollar settlement, following a lawsuit and it is one of the largest such settlements as of late. The city medical examiner's office had determined that the inmate, Ronald Spear, died as the result of blunt force trauma to the head while being detained at Riker's. Alarmingly, a recent NY Times column reported that in 2013, one hundred twenty nine cases of inmates being seriously injured were found.

There is evidence to indicate that Mr. Spear suffered from chronic kidney disease and was denied medical treatment, which left him exceedingly vulnerable. One of the lawyers representing the family has been quoted as saying, "No amount of money adequately compensates for the loss of life," but also added that the settlement "seems to reflect a recognition on the part of the city that something terribly wrong happened here." The City of New York also made a statement, by and through one of it's senior attorneys: "This was a tragic incident. It is hoped that this resolution brings some small measure of closure for the family."

The lawsuit also alleged that as a result of Mr. Spear's contacting a legalaid, corrections officers at Riker's retaliated against him; and he died two weeks after. Although the Bronx County District Attorney's Office investigated the allegations that corrections officers beat Mr. Spear to death, the DA's Office ultimately chose not to bring formal charges against any correction officers reasoning that they could not prove criminality as against COs beyond a reasonable doubt. Reports indicate that Mr. Bharara's Office will be conducting a civil rights investigation.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Jury Awards $150,000.00 to Brooklyn Man Falsely Arrested

On August 13, 2014, a federal jury awarded a Brooklyn man $150,000.00 to compensate him for his 2007 false arrest at the hands of the NYPD. The jury found that the Plaintiff, Robert Graham, had proven by a preponderance of the evidence that NYPD Officer William Glenn falsely arrested him on June 8, 2007. The jury further determined that another NYPD Officer, Andrew Ugbomah, had failed to intervene in Mr. Graham's false arrest.

The incident of Mr. Graham's false arrest unfolded on a busy Brooklyn street. Robert Graham was on the side of the road in his automobile when a marked NYPD cruiser pulled-up behind his automobile. The credible evidence showed that the officers were on their way to respond to an emergency call when they pulled-up behind Mr. Graham and activated their siren to have Mr. Graham move his car. However, NYC traffic as it is, Mr. Graham had no where to go. This apparently angered the NYPD agents and they got out of their cruiser, approaching Mr. Graham. Next, they directed Mr. Graham to exit the car. Mr. Graham was then handcuffed and left in the car along with Mr. Graham's son, who was four (4) years old at the time.

When the officers returned shortly thereafter from their emergency call, Mr. Graham was written a summons for disorderly conduct and released. However, the summons was either not properly handled or disappeared, and the violation charge of disorderly conduct against Mr. Graham was dismissed. It is undisputed that Mr. Graham's entire detention was less than one (1) hour.

 

 


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Double Decker Bus DUI Nightmare
Have you ever driven in New York City?  With the taxi’s zooming by and the buses barreling down the busy streets adding a driver that is under the influence into the mix can create a serious problem.  Yet, with the best restaurants, bars and shows in the world, driving while intoxicated is a common occurrence in NYC and the New York Police Department is well aware of the problem.  

Recently in NYC, a Gray Line double-decker tour bus crashed into a similar bus that was parked in Times Square.  The accident occurred right near the TKTS booth on 47th Street and Seventh Avenue.  Approximately 15 passengers and bystanders were injured when the bus crashed into the busy sidewalk knocking down a light pole in the process.  The bus was driven by William Dalambert of Irvington, New Jersey.  After he passed a Breathalyzer at the scene, police accused Dalambert of being high and arrested and booked him for driving under the influence (DUI).  He spent the night in jail but was released when his initial toxicology results came back clean.  He claims that the buses brakes failed and that this caused the accident.  Although Dalambert has a less than perfect driving record, including tickets and suspensions, he still managed to get a commercial license and find a job as a tour bus driver. 

The District Attorney is keeping the investigation into Dalambert’s condition open until the results of the full toxicology report come back.  He has been suspended from his employment and is not sure if he will be asked to return.

Commercial drivers, such as those that work for taxi services and buses companies, drive to make a living and are usually responsible for others.  When one of these drivers is accused of DWI or DUI it can have serious consequences beyond criminal charges.  These drivers can lose their jobs and have their commercial licenses taken away.  If you are a commercial driver that has been accused of DWI or DUI, it is imperative that you seek legal representation.  Call NYC criminal defense attorney Michael J. Redenburg at (212)240-9465 for a consultation today.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Queens False Arrest Attorney Files Notice of Claim on Behalf of Torin R.

Alleging a false arrest and physical assault by an NYPD officer, the Firm's client, Torin Reid, has filed his Notice of Claim seeking $1,000,000.00 in damages. The Notice of Claim sets forth that the Incident of Torin's false arrest and physical assault occurred on or about July 26, 2014, in the evening; in the City and State of New York within the County of Queens. Further, the Incident took place within the property known as the Woodside Houses which are New York City Housing Authority ("NYCHA") residences.

Further, the Notice of Claim states that on the evening of July 26, 2014, Torin was lawfully gathered with some friends and sitting on a bench when Torin noticed uniformed NYPD officers marching toward him and his friends who were lawfully gathered. Torin states that he is afraid of the NYPD because, in his words, "they like to play rough," and so Torin got up from the bench and started to walk away. Torin had not engaged in any illegal activity. All of a sudden, and without warning, an NYPD Officer grabbed Torin from behind and tackled him to the ground. As a result of the "take-down," the left side of Torin's head hit the ground causing an abrasion. Once Torin was on the ground, face down and with his hands behind his back, an NYPD officer punched Torin in his right eye with a closed fist, which caused Torin to bleed.

Once the NYPD officer concluded his physical assault of Torin, Torin was transported to Elmhurst Hospital where he received three (3) sutures near his right eye, in order to close the wound and stop the bleeding. Thereafter, Torin was taken to Queens Central Booking where he eventually saw a judge. At arraignment, the criminal charges that had been levied against Torin were adjourned in contemplation of dismissal.

The Notice of Claim states that Torin suffered an unlawful detention, loss of liberty, physical injuries, emotional distress, fear, anxiety, humiliation, embarrassment and damage to his reputation.


Friday, August 01, 2014

City of New York to Pay $25,001.00 to Settle Brooklyn Man's False Arrest Case

On July 28, 2014, the Law Firm of Michael J. Redenburg, Esq.'s client, James D., accepted the City's twenty five thousand and one ($25,001) dollar Offer of Judgment to finally resolve his claim that he was falsely arrested in Brooklyn, NY. In deciding to resolve the allegations contained within James' Complaint, the City expressly notes that such settlement is not to be construed as an admission of liability by defendants or any official, employee, or agent of the City of New York or any agency thereof; nor is it an admission that James D. has suffered any damages.

James had alleged that on July 21, 2012, while he was lawfully present at a private home in Brooklyn, NY, he was arrested and charged with criminal trespass and attempted burglary. James denied the charges and eventually the criminal case was dismissed. Then on September 11, 2012, and again at the same private residence in Brooklyn, NY James was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree and consumption of alcohol in the street. James denied the accusations of wrongdoing and demanded a trial. Following a trial before a Brooklyn Criminal Court Judge, James was acquitted of the false criminal charge and administrative code violation which had been lodged against him.

Following the two favorable outcomes in his criminal cases, James went from defense to offense and filed suit in Federal Court to redress the wrongs against him. The City has 90 days to make payment of the $25,001.00 owed to James D.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Harsh Penalties for Doctor Convicted of Manslaughter
Over the last decade it has been discovered that the country is suffering from epidemic prescription drug addiction.  Ever since the death of pop star Michael Jackson due to an overdose of prescription drugs, many prosecutors have been focusing on the doctors who prescribe these medications.  Recently, a Queens, New York anesthesiologist has been convicted of manslaughter due to the reckless prescription of narcotic pain medications.

Dr. Stan Xuhui Li operated a pain management clinic in Flushing, Queens once a week.  There he saw a very high volume of patients and dealt mostly in cash.  Lists displaying the price for various prescription drugs were posted on the walls of the clinic.  When two of Dr. Li’s patients died of prescription drug overdoses while under his care, he was charged with various crimes relating to his practice of medicine.  Specifically, he was charged with manslaughter, reckless endangerment, criminal sale of prescription for a controlled substance and falsifying records, among other crimes.  He was also accused of prescribing narcotics to a patient who went on to kill four people in 2011 while robbing a pharmacy.

During the four month trial, Dr. Li’s attorneys alleged that the overdoses resulting from the drugs he prescribed were due to his patient’s failure to follow instructions and not from the doctor’s bad faith.  The attorneys also claimed that some patients lied to the doctor about their substance abuse problems.  

After six days of jury deliberations, Dr. Li was convicted of manslaughter for the deaths of his two patients due to overdoses.  Of the 211 charges he faced, Dr. Li was convicted of 200, including 6 counts of reckless endangerment and multiple counts of selling prescriptions for a controlled substance.  Dr. Li, although not sentenced yet, could face up to 15 years for each count of manslaughter in addition to the time he must serve for the other convictions.

Narcotics prosecutors chose to focus a lot of time and resources on this case and will continue to crack down of these types of matters in future.  If you have been accused of this type of crime or any other criminal matter, contact New York City criminal defense attorney Michael J. Redenburg at (212)240-9465.


Friday, July 18, 2014

NYC False Arrest Attorney Files Another Action in Federal Court

An NYC false arrest Complaint was filed in Federal Court on July 15, 2014, on behalf of the firm's client, Maurice S., in civil case 14-cv-4320. The Complaint contains numerous causes of action including unreasonable search and seizure, false arrest, failure to intervene and a claim against the City of New York, known as aMonell claim.

Allegations Within the Complaint

At about 10:30 a.m. on July 11, 2012, and in the vicinity of Throop Avenue and Hart Street, Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, NY, Maurice had just left his apartment and was stopped by two plain clothes NYPD officers. Although the officers had no reasonable suspicion to believe that Maurice had engaged in any criminal activity, they grabbed him and handcuffed him. The officers also promised to explain why he was being arrested once they got to the police precinct.

After spending approximately 6 hours at the precinct and another 24 hours at Central Booking, Maurice appeared before a criminal court judge for arraignment. The NYPD officers had caused Maurice to be charged with violating NY Penal Law Sections 220.39, 220.16 and 220.03; and two of those charges were felonies. Next, he was transported to Riker's Island where he stayed for 6 days until he was released and told to return to court on January 25, 2013. When he returned to court as required, all of the false criminal charges which had been levied against him were dismissed in their entirety.

Unfortunately, the false arrest and continued detainment, such as that alleged in Maurice's Complaint is not an isolated incident in New York City. Fortunately, however, individuals who feel they have been wronged by the NYPD, the very people charged with protecting them, can file civil lawsuits seeking compensation for the wrongs perpetrated against them.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Retail Shopper Sues for False Arrest After "Shop-and-Frisk"
When Trayon Christian was handcuffed outside of Barneys after properly paying for a $349 belt, it may have seemed to him like the ultimate indignity.  Now, in response to his lawsuit for false arrest, lawyers for New York City claim that the entire episode was his fault.

Two undercover New York City detectives had stopped the fashion-conscious engineering student, who is black, and accused him of credit card fraud.  According to Christian, the police questioned how he could afford his purchase and said Barneys had reported his debit card as fake.  Confiscating both card and merchandise, they detained him in a precinct holding cell, though he had no criminal record and his debit card was funded with his paycheck.  When the police discovered their error, they released him.

Christian sued the NYPD and Barneys for false arrest, claiming they engaged in racial profiling.  Notwithstanding past apologies from the police and Barneys CEO Mark Lee, lawyers from the New York City Law Department have now gone on the offensive.  In a recent court filing, they claim that it was Trayon Christian who provoked the arrest and that "any injury alleged to have been sustained resulted from plaintiff’s own culpable or negligent conduct.”  They also claim, “At all times relevant to the acts alleged in the complaint, defendant City of New York, its agents and officials, acted reasonably in the proper and lawful exercise of their discretion." A spokesman for the Law Department conceded that its position might change as the case progresses.
 
The Christian case is one of many recent instances of the use of racial profiling to arrest or detain retail shoppers without good cause, a practice some call "shop-and-frisk."  In April, prosecutors dropped all charges against a Pakistani shopper who said she was unfairly profiled, falsely accused of shoplifting, and wrongfully detained and arrested at Macy’s.  Suits have been filed by black shoppers who said they were targeted by Macy’s and other major New York stores.  

A skilled criminal lawyer can prevent a damaging criminal conviction and help victims obtain compensation.  The Law Firm of Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. PC has years of experience in false arrest cases, as well as in many other areas of criminal law.  If you feel you have been unfairly arrested or detained while shopping, contact our office so we can discuss your situation and your options for moving forward. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Arrested And Never Saw A Judge

Every day throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens NY, people are arrested and charged with crimes they did not commit. Usually, however, the person arrested will appear at arraignment before a Criminal Court Judge after they are processed at the police precinct and spend 12 - 24 hours in Central Booking drinking milk and eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. But thousands of people each year throughout the City's boroughs are let out the side door of Central Booking without ever even seeing a judge. When this happens, it is probably because the ADA who reviewed the facts of your case before a Complaint was drafted decided not to go forward with the criminal charges against you as alleged by the police officers who arrested you.

When the DA's Office decides not to go forward with the accusations of criminal wrongdoing as alleged by one of New York's Finest, it is because they declined to prosecute you, which is commonly referred to as DP. When you are let out of Central Booking, you may or may not receive a piece of paper that says your case was DP'd along with the arrest number and the charges that were to be brought against you. Regardless, in this case you may have a false arrest lawsuit to sue the City of New York for false arrest. If another person, say your girlfriend, made an accusation against you and the police reasonably relied on her account of what happened - and your case was DP'd - you probably will not have a false arrest case to sue. But you may, so you should speak to a lawyer to see. However, if your arrest that resulted in a DP was based on bad police action, such as them stopping you for no reason - without probable cause -  then you very well may have a cause of action to sue the City of New York for money damages. And the best way to find out is to contact a civil rights lawyer to discuss your legal options. If state law claims are to be brought on your behalf, there are strict time limits, called statute of limitations, which restrict the time frame in which you have to do so.

Another scenario where a DP may result is when a person is given a Desk Appearance Ticket, also commonly referred to as a DAT. In this case, the person is arrested, fingerprinted and photographed at the police precinct. But because the accusation is a misdemeanor, you live in the neighborhood and you do not have a criminal record, the police do not bring you to Central Booking. Instead, you get a piece of paper called a DAT with the date for you to go to court. That day is really your arraignment. Sometimes, when you go on that day, you get told that your case is not ready and you sign your name is a book that you came to court as required. You're told that your next court date will be mailed to you, but sometimes, instead you're notified that your case is DP'd. In such cases, you may have a case to sue the City of New York. The firm of Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. PC obtained a $7,500.00 Offer of Judgment plus reasonable attorneys' fees and costs for a client in this situation in 2014 where the client was detained for five (5) hours.


Saturday, July 05, 2014

Another Driving While Black Arrest

The term "Driving While Black" refers to the racially motivated profiling of people of color while they are lawfully operating their motor vehicles. This month, both a Queens man has alleged he was the victim of such profiling and a Brooklyn man, retained by the Firm has also made allegations in a similar vein. This post will briefly discuss the two incidents and subsequent lawsuits. 

According to recent news reports, Taxi and Limousine investigators had stopped a black man in the county of Queens after his biracial wife exited the passenger side of the automobile, which was a black Town Car. The investigators thereafter issued the man numerous summonses which included several false allegations, including that the man took money from the woman for the ride and that he was an unlicensed cab operator. In reality, the lawsuit claims, the woman in the passenger seat of the car was the man's wife and the TLC investigators believed she was white. The investigators' logic was that since the man was black and the female passenger appeared to them to be white, that he was transporting her for a fee as a livery driver, and that he did not have a proper license to do so. Eventually, the summonses were dropped after a hearing examiner found that the investigators testified inconsistently and the man filed a lawsuit. 

The Law Firm of Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. PC recently filed a Complaint in federal court which also raises issues of racially profiling drivers based on the color of their skin. In the case, Jeffrey D. alleges that he was stopped in Brooklyn by NYPD officers for no reason. Jeffrey, who is black, was operating his late model Jeep Grand Cherokee which he had leased new from the dealership and which had not been altered or modified in any way. Once pulled over, more than 10 officers arrived on the scene based on an allegation that Jeffrey's auto had windows that were too darkly tinted. As this was unfolding, Jeffrey tried to record the incident with his cell phone, but the officers then confiscated the digital card of the phone and arrested Jeffrey for Obstructing Governmental Administration. Once the case was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal, Jeffrey filed a lawsuit. 

 


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