Police Brutality & Police Misconduct in New York, NY

Members of law enforcement are not permitted to use more force than necessary in detaining, subduing or arresting you. Though it is occasionally necessary for the police to exert reasonable force in particular circumstances, if an officer crosses the line and employs unreasonable force, The Law Office Of Fred Lichtmacher, P.C. is prepared to step in and stand up for your rights. This firm does not charge any fees for police brutality cases; we only receive compensation if we prevail at trial or by settlement. You have the right to know your rights when it comes to police encounters.

In non-arrest situations, these rights include:

  • The right to remain silent: knowing that anything you say can be used against you, you have the right not to speak and can tell the police “I would like to remain silent.”
  • The right to consent to a search: In New York City, the police are required to ask for your consent before a search. If the police have a search warrant, it is your right to ask to see it. Without a warrant, say “I do not consent to this search.” Officers cannot arrest or fine you for refusing to consent. Though refusing consent may not stop the search from happening, it will protect your rights in court.

In the event you are stopped, questioned, and/or frisked by an officer, know that:

  • You have the right to ask if you are under arrest or free to leave
  • Police can stop or briefly detain you only if there is reasonable suspicion that you have been involved in criminal activity
  • New York citizens are not required to carry an ID, and you are not required to show it to a police officer. However, if you are arrested and refuse to show an ID or tell officers who you are, you may be detained until you can be identified.
  • Upon investigating criminal activity, New York City officers are required to identify themselves and inform you of the reason for interacting with you

If you are arrested or taken to the police station:

  • You have the right to decline speaking to the police until consulting a lawyer. If you have a lawyer, ask to see him or her immediately. If you don’t have a lawyer, you can ask the police how to contact one.
  • Regarding your case, do not make any decisions or sign any documents until speaking with a lawyer.
  • You should only tell the police your name and address, do not give them excuses or explanations in hopes of defending yourself. Your defense will be made later in court under the guidance of your lawyer.

If you believe you or someone you know has fallen victim to police brutality, contact us today. We will provide you with a free consultation to explore your claim and discuss your options.

Past police brutality cases

G.A. – Arm broken during arrest for buying pot for police brutality: $1.2M Settlement – Bronx Supreme 2015

Mitchi Cunningham – Straphanger whacked by cop for excessive force – $1.1M Settlement

Shirley Fontanez – Orphan daughter of teen mom killed by her cop ex-boyfriend – Received $1.1M from city

Woman thrown to the ground in a non-arrest situation for excessive force: $875,000 Settlement – Southern District NY 2016

Daniel Pagan – Subjected to excessive force by hospital police $650,000 Settlement 2017

NYPD Sgt. punches man in the face for police brutality case: $570,000 Settlement – Bronx Supreme 2016

Charon Hayes – Man punched in the face during arrest: $540,000 Settlement – Southern District of New York 2013

J.D. excessive force case against NYPD: $350,000 Settlement – April 2019

Ivan Benjamin – Man punched twice in the face by NYPD officer – $305,000 Verdict plus separate award of attorneys’ fees

– Eastern District of New York 2017

Tyrell Garcia – Man chomp by cop’s dog – $240,000 Settlement – Southern District of New York 2008

June 2018 – Musician, Jack Fuller, Subjected to police brutality by members of the NYPD at a Black Lives Matter rally. He sustains a broken ring finger and is arrested on criminal charges. We prevail at criminal trial. All charges are thrown out. At the civil rights trial, defendants settle for $250,000.

Naji Benson & Davail Rowe – Policy brutality by NYPD during arrest – $166,000 Settlement

K.F. – False arrest: $140,000 Settlement – Southern District of New York 2012

K.D. in police brutality/negligence case: $125,000 Settlement – April 2019

A.D. & R.D. – Police brutality: $100,000 Settlement – Kings Supreme 2017

Terry Pearson beaten by correction officer: $85,000 jury awards with separate award of fees – March 21, 2019

More information on rights during an arrest, excessive force.


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