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Police Abuse In Newark

PoliceAbuse-150x150There is a problem with the police in Newark. They are running amuck. There have been many instances of excessive force, false arrest and other abuses by police officers in Newark. It has been suggested that these abuses be investigated by the federal authorities and that a monitor be appointed by the federal government to supervise the police department. These allegations are contained in a proceeding recently brought by a civil liberties group in Newark.

American Civil Liberties Union Takes Action

The lawsuit, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (the “ACLU”), requests that the civil rights division of the justice department take immediate action to supervise the police in Newark. The complaint by the ACLU documents numerous abuses and inappropriate activities by police officers. The suit claims that the police operate in a culture of impunity, with few, if any, police officers ever being punished for their misdeeds. The complaint specifically states that the misconduct “has left citizens dead, permanently injured and otherwise damaged”. The petition also states that “it has left innocent Newark residents distrustful of the police, unsure whether an encounter with them will lead to being protected and served or beaten and arrested”.

The petition by the ACLU is ninety-six pages long. It provides detailed information concerning the courts, the police and other U.S. governmental agencies. The petition goes on to state that the inappropriate actions of certain members of the Newark police department have damaged the careers and harmed the reputation of good, honorable police officers.

The petition indicates that police misconduct has been going for decades. During the past two and one-half years, more than fifty-one separate lawsuits have been brought against police officers and/or the police in Newark. These lawsuits deal with issues involving police misconduct, such as beatings, theft, and illegal searches. The police are committing misdemeanors and felonies. In cases where citizens have reported police misconduct, there have been threats and harassment by the police against these citizens.

The Newark Police Department has recently settled thirty-eight separate and distinct police misconduct cases. These settlements have cost the city of Newark approximately five million dollars.

Help Dealing With Police Misconduct

Should you, a family member or loved one be exposed to what you feel is police misconduct, contact the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo. We may be able to assist you in obtaining monetary damages for the police misconduct and for the violation of your civil rights. Contact us at 1-800-344-6431, or by email.

Can the Hofstra Rape Case’s False Accusor be Convicted of a Crime?

According to an Associated Press report, an 18 year old freshman at Hofstra University came to police on Sunday (9/13/09) claiming that she had been tied up and gang-raped by five men in a men’s dormitory. After her statement to the police, they arrested four of the five young men. On Wednesday night, word that one of the young men had a cell phone video of their encounter with the young woman, showing that everything that occured between her and the five men had been consensual. This prompted her to recant her story and the police released the four men. The Nassau County District Attorney’s office is considering charges against the young woman, who’s name has not been released, for filing a false report with the police. Can this woman be prosecuted criminally for filing a false affidavit with the police? Would the young men have a valid civil case against her for false imprisonment?

According to New York Penal Law § 210.10, one may be convicted of perjury in the second degree, a Class E Felony, if she:

  1. Swears falsely
  2. Does so in a document for which an oath or affirmation to tell the truth is required (like an affidavit)
  3. The person intends “to mislead a public servant (like a police officer) in the performance of his official
    functions”
  4. The matter the person lied about is “material” to the proceeding/action about which she is lying.

If this woman’s false statement was not only made in an oral statement to police, but sworn to in an affidavit, then the public reports would seem to indicate that the other elements of felony perjury are there. If she is convicted of a Class E felony, the class of felonies with the shortest jail term, it is still possible for her to be sentenced for upwards of a year.

If the young men sue their accusor in a civil court for “false imprisonment,” they must be able to show that she had the intent to cause them to be confined, and that the young men had no “reasonable means of escape.” Parvi v. City of Kingston. Even if she only caused them indirectly (e.g. by using the police to do the imprisoning on her behalf) to become imprisoned, as opposed to physically imprisoning them herself, she can still be liable. 14 N.Y.Prac., New York Law of Torts § 1:24. And where one instigates the police to arrest someone may also be liable for the tort of false imprisonment. Celnick v. Freitag, 662 N.Y.S.2d 37 (1st Dept.1997).

In sum, if the public reports are based on admissible facts, then the Hofstra rape case accusor may not only be arrested and imprisoned for perjuring herself by falsely accusing these men of rape, they may also have a cause of action against her for monetary damages for causing them to be falsely imprisoned.

As always, if you need a criminal defense lawyer in NY because you are charged with making a false statement to police, perjury, rape, or any other crime for that matter, you can always call our office, which has about thirty years of experience in criminal defense. On the other hand, if you need a personal injury attorney to sue someone for physically confining you if you need someone to defend you against such a claim, or you need to sue someone for any other type of injury, our office has significant experience in personal injury law as well. And you can contact our office at 800-344-6431 anytime 24/7.

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