Tag: police abuse

Wrongfully Arrested Ohio Man Arnold Black is Awarded $22 Million After Cop Beats Him, Locks Him in Closet for 4 Days

Arnold Black was awarded $22 million after cops wrongfully detained him, beat him and locked him in a closet for four days.
Arnold Black was awarded $22 million after cops wrongfully detained him, beat him and locked him in a closet for four days. (FOX8 CLEVELAND)

article by Meg Wagner via nydailynews.com

An Ohio man who was beaten by a drunk cop and left locked in a closet for four days without food, water or access to a bathroom was awarded $22 million in court.

Arnold Black sued East Cleveland police over his 2012 detainment, saying a pair of officers mixed up his car with that of a suspected drug dealer and wrongfully took him into custody. One of the cops reeked of alcohol — and punched Black for “messing up” his night at the bar, according to the lawsuit.

“The officer … grabbed me like this,” Black told Fox 8 while motioning with his hands. “And he held me up, and — Boom! — I just remember getting hit.”

Black said he was driving through the city in his green pickup truck in April 2012 when officers Jonathan O’Leary and Randy Hicks pulled him over and asked him where they could find drug dealers in East Cleveland.  The pair said they were hunting for a green truck carrying a load of cocaine — and Hicks, who was slurring his speech and reeked of booze, seemed upset that Black wasn’t the suspected drug dealer, the lawsuit alleged.  “I was at a bar with friends. You messed up my night,” Hicks told the driver.

The cop with the blood-shot eyes and cloudy coordination punched Black in the head, handcuffed him and then punched him again, the lawsuit alleged.  O’Leary, who did not appear to be drunk, stood back and did nothing to atop the attack.

The duo carted Black off to jail, but instead of sticking him in a cell, they locked him in a storage closet, Black said. Continue reading “Wrongfully Arrested Ohio Man Arnold Black is Awarded $22 Million After Cop Beats Him, Locks Him in Closet for 4 Days”

Tamir Rice’s Family Settles With Cleveland for $6 Million in Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Tamir Rices family and the city of Cleveland, reached a $6 million settlement on Monday in a wrongful death lawsuit, ABC News reports.

Subodh Chandra, the family attorney, described the settlement as historic, according to ABC News.  But he added, via the Associated Press“The resolution is nothing to celebrate because a 12-year-old child needlessly lost his life.”

Tamir was playing with a pellet gun at a Cleveland recreational center when Police Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback shot him in November 2014. A video captured the moment when their patrol car, responding to a 911 call, pulls up to Tamir and Loehmann shoots the boy within seconds. They reportedly were not aware that a witness said the gun was probably a fake and Tamir looked like a juvenile.

The fatal shooting contributed to the national outcry against excessive police force in regards to Black males and protests in Cleveland. In that tense atmosphere, a grand jury declined to charge the officers. Meanwhile, a federal civil rights investigation is pending.

Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice, said the two officers failed to administer first aid and caused intentional distress by the way they mistreated her and her daughter following the shooting, ABC News reports. Her wrongful death suit targeted the officers, dispatchers, and Cleveland.

The network reports that the U.S. District Court filed an ordered saying that Cleveland will pay Tamir’s estate $3 million this year and the remainder in 2017. Cleveland did not admit to wrongdoing.

University of Cincinnati to Pay $4.85 Million to Family of Samuel DuBose, Who Was Fatally Shot by Police

(Photo via cbs19.tv)
(Photo via cbs19.tv)

(CNN) The University of Cincinnati will pay $4.85 million to the family of Samuel DuBose, a man fatally shot by a school police officer, the family announced Monday at a press conference.

The school also agreed to set up a memorial to DuBose on campus, invite the family to take part in meetings on police reform and issue a formal apology, a press release from the family said.

The university will pay $4,850,000 to the family and also provide free undergraduate education to DuBose’s 12 children. the statement said. The education is valued about $500,000.

“The family is taking Martin Luther King’s words to heart,” Al Gerhardstein, a lawyer representing the family, said at the press conference, according to CNN afiliate WCPO. “He told us to be peaceful when we are faced with tragedy, and this family has worked peacefully over the last few months to resolve this terrible, terrible tragedy.”

Officer Ray Tensing fatally shot DuBose, 43, during a July 19 traffic stop over an alleged missing license tag.  The officer has said he was forced to fire his weapon after almost being run over. Authorities indicted Tensing on murder and voluntary manslaughter charges, partly because they felt body camera video contradicted his story.

The shooting outraged the African-American community in Cincinnati and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters. DuBose was black and Tensing is white.  “I’ve been doing this for over 30 years. This is the most asinine act I’ve ever seen a police officer make — totally unwarranted,” Deters said in the days after the shooting. “It’s an absolute tragedy in the year 2015 that anyone would behave in this manner. It was senseless.”

Tensing has pleaded not guilty and is free under $1 million bond. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for February 11, according to cincinnati.com.

When asked if the settlement indicated an acknowledgment of guilt from the university, UC attorney Nate Lampley Jr. said to WCPO, “It is an acknowledgment of a tragedy and an attempt to resolve it in a manner that was fair to both sides.”

According to the press release, University of Cincinnati President Santa Ono said, “I want to again express on behalf of the University of Cincinnati community our deepest sadness and regrets at the heartbreaking loss of the life of Samuel DuBose. This agreement is also part of the healing process not only for the family but also for our university and Cincinnati communities.”

article by Ralph Ellis via cnn.com

Street Sandra Bland Stopped On Renamed in Her Honor

Prairie View City Council members in Texas are hoping a road renamed after activist Sandra Bland will serve as a constant reminder of the injustices they say she suffered in Waller County, USA Today reports.

City officials are also hopeful that the road, which leads to Bland’s alma mater, Prairie View A&M University, will also encourage law enforcement to make better choices and always follow best practices when making stops on University Drive, which will become Sandra Bland Parkway for three to five years before the council votes on the matter again.

“I am overwhelmed, and I am just truly thankful to the city of Prairie View,” Geneva Reed-Veal, Bland’s mother, said in a press conference here after the decision to rename the road.

“This is the first step, the very first step,” Reed-Veal said. “There’s still so much more that needs to be done.”

Bland, 28, was stopped on the same road July 10 for allegedly failing to signal a lane change. When Texas state Trooper Brian Encinia felt his power threatened by Bland’s wit and matter-of-fact tone, he arrested her on a charge of assaulting a public servant.

She was found hanging in her jail cell three days after her arrest, a death that has been ruled a suicide but is also being treated like a murder investigation. According to CNN, the Texas Rangers and the FBI are investigating Sandra’s death.

“It is very much too early to make any kind of determination that this was a suicide or a murder because the investigations are not complete,” Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis told reporters. “This is being treated like a murder investigation.”

Mathis said the case would go to a grand jury.

“There are too many questions that still need to be resolved. Ms. Bland’s family does make valid points that she did have a lot of things going on in her life that were good,” Mathis said.

Earlier this month, family members filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against arresting officer Encinia and two guards at the Waller County Jail where Bland died, along with the Texas Department of Public Safety and the county. The New York Times reports that the lawsuit states Encinia made up a reason to arrest Sandra and that jailers failed to react when she refused meals and “had bouts of uncontrollable crying.”

Bland’s family maintains that she never should have been stopped and arrested and they want the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate.

article via blackamericaweb.com

Floyd Dent Settles Police Brutality Suit with City of Inkster for $1.4 Million

Floyd Dent Receives Settlement from Inkster Police Department (photo via my13.com
Floyd Dent receives settlement from City of Inkster (photo via my13la.com)

Floyd Dent has settled his lawsuit with the City of Inkster for $1.4 million.

However for Dent, who was beaten by Inkster police in a shocking attack caught on video earlier this year, becoming a millionaire is less important than improving police relations with the communities they are supposed to serve and protect.

Given the choice, Dent would rather be broke and never have had this happen.  “Money isn’t everything,” he said. “You can’t buy happiness.”

Dent says he hopes something good will come from the incident, a new beginning for Inkster.  “The city of Inkster needs to move on and service the great citizens of Inkster,” he said.

The Defenders broke the story, exposing video of police officers punching, kicking, and using a Taser on Dent after a traffic stop. The Defenders also uncovered a second video of police apparently imitating and mocking Dent at the police station instead of immediately him to a hospital for his injuries.

“I’m bleeding and asking for a doctor and they are sitting there joking and high fiving. That’s unreal,” Dent said.

After the video was revealed, prosecutors dropped assault and drug charges against Dent and instead filed charges against William Melendez, the now-former Inkster police officer who punched Dent 16 times in the head.

Inkster also has a new police chief and two other officers were suspended. Now, with this a seven-figure settlement, Dent says a strong message has been sent about police brutality.  “Nothing like this will ever happen in Inkster,” Dent said.

Dent’s attorney Greg Rohl said the city stepped up to do the right thing for his client and for Inkster.

“At least some good can come out of all this,” Rohl said. “Floyd is proud of being the person that brought about this change.”

Becoming a millionaire may bring friends and relatives out of the woodwork, but Dent said the money won’t change him.

“There’s going to be be a lot of people ringing my doorbell. You know, long lost friends,” he said. “Do you have any plans for the money? No, not really, I’m going back to work. I miss work. I miss the people I work with.”

The settlement is not the end of this case. Dent still has to testify against Melendez in the criminal case.

Dent said he will tell the truth and let the justice system take care of it from there. He also knows his time in the spotlight is coming to an end, which is fine with him.

“I want people to remember me as an honest person that wasn’t afraid to go against the officers that done this to me and i want people to know that I’m grateful,” he said.

article by Kevin Dietz via clickondetroit.com

Attorney General Loretta Lynch Vows to Investigate John Crawford’s Shooting Death in Walmart

John Crawford's parents met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch (Photo:
John Crawford’s parents met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on May 19, 2015 (Photo: WLWT TV)

Loretta Lynch will investigate the death of John Crawford III, 22, who was shot last summer as he held an air rifle inside a Walmart in Ohio, according to WLWT TV.

Lynch, who was confirmed as the U.S. Attorney earlier this month, met with Crawford’s family Tuesday during a visit to Cincinnati to discuss police reform, reports the television news station.

Crawford’s parents tell the station that Lynch met with them for about 15 minutes, and pledged to investigate the shooting, which drew protests over the killing of young Black men by police around the country.

The family has filed a suit against the city of Beavercreek, the two Beavercreek officers involved, the police chief, and Walmart Stores Inc., charging negligence and violation of Crawford’s civil rights.

The officer who shot Crawford claims he failed to respond to repeated orders to drop the weapon and allegedly turned towards him in an aggressive manner.

From WLWT TV:

Crawford’s family said they appreciate the support from the community. They said Lynch told them it’s going to take time, but she will investigate their son’s death.

“She was just making sure that we understood that it was a process and we understand that. She said it would move. The process will move and that she will make sure,” John Crawford Jr. said.

Crawford’s mother, Tressa Sherrod, says she appreciated having the opportunity to meet with Lynch privately.

The DOJ launched a preliminary investigation into the shooting last fall to determine whether Crawford’s civil rights were violated, reports say.

article by Lynette Holloway via newsone.com

Tamir Rice’s Mom Out of Homeless Shelter, Thanks to Family and Crowdfunding

Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir Rice- who was shot to death by a police officer - speak on a panel titled "The Impact of Police Brutality - The Victims Speak" at the National Action Network (NAN) national convention on April 8, 2015 in New York City.

Five months after her son Tamir was killed by the police in Cleveland, Samaria Rice moved herself into a homeless shelter, unable to stay near the spot where her son was playing with a toy gun one minute, and lay dead the next.

But thanks to an assist from her family, Rice was recently able to relocate to a new house in the city, ABC5 reported.  “Emotionally, she just could not take it, and she had nowhere else to go,” Rice’s attorney Walter Madison told Cleveland Scene of Rice’s decision. “It was more comfortable for her in a shelter than it would have been in her own home.”

Due to delays in the criminal investigation, Rice continues to accrue additional legal expenses, which a GoFundMe campaign hopes to offset.

The police officers involved in the case have requested that the family put off its federal civil rights lawsuit . The officers are concerned their testimonies in the federal investigation may self-incriminate them in the criminal case, the New Republic reported.

Tamir’s relatives, however, have protested that request saying that delaying the lawsuit will cause their legal costs to surge and exacerbate their emotional pain, according to the Associated Press.

Tamir still has not been buried because the family is concerned that additional medical examinations could be required, according to the court motion.

article via eurweb.com

FEATURE: Meet Marilyn Mosby, State Attorney Overseeing The Freddie Gray Investigation

Marilyn Mosby
Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby (Photo via hello beautiful.com)

Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby is the person in charge of the investigation of Freddie Gray’s death. Gray suffered a spinal injury while he was in custody of six Baltimore officers, who have been charged in his death.

Though locally well-known, Mosby’s announcement of the charges was the first time she’s been prominent in the national news.  She started as an insurance company attorney and got a surprising and deserved win last November, so this is her first stint as an elected official. She beat out incumbent Gregg Bernstein by portraying herself as a crime crusader, determined to keep repeat offenders off the streets.

It was the murder of Mosby’s 17-year-old cousin back in 1994 that helped her see that she wanted a career in criminal justice. “I learned very early on that the criminal justice system isn’t just the police, the judges and the state’s attorney,” CNN quoted her as saying. “It’s much more than that. I believe that we are the justice system. We, the members of the community, are the justice system because we are the victims of crimes.”

Continue reading “FEATURE: Meet Marilyn Mosby, State Attorney Overseeing The Freddie Gray Investigation”

Officer Charged in Beating of 57 Year-Old Man, Floyd Dent, During Traffic Stop in Michigan

Floyd Dent at Press Conference
Floyd Dent Thanks Prosecutors for Bringing Charges Against Michigan Police Officer

A suburban Detroit police officer who was seen on dash-cam video dragging a black man from his car before kicking and punching him repeatedly will be charged with two felony counts, a county prosecutor said Monday.

A drug possession charge against the man, Floyd Dent, 57, will be dropped, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said. Dent’s treatment by Inkster police during a Jan. 28 traffic stop sparked outrage after the video was released by NBC affiliate WDIV.

“We cannot turn our heads when the law enforcer becomes the law breaker,” Worthy said during a news conference Monday. “The alleged police brutality in this case cannot and will not be tolerated.”

William Melendez, who allegedly punched Dent 16 times while keeping him in a chokehold during an arrest, will be charged with one count of mistreatment of a prisoner and one count of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, Worthy said.

WDIV had also later released a video that showed officers stripping Dent to his underwear and searching him while he was being held in jail.

If convicted, Melendez could face up to 15 years in prison.

Inkster City Manager Richard Marsh said in a statement that Melendez had been fired from the Inkster Police Department on April 15, “which I and others believe was in the best interest of our community.” Marsh said he wouldn’t comment further on the charges “in order to preserve the integrity of both the criminal and the civil actions surrounding Officer Melendez’s employment.”

Melendez is working part-time at the Highland Park Police department, according to WDIV. The department did not immediately respond to requests for comment from NBC News.

The case was independently investigated by the Michigan State Police and separately by the Wayne County Prosecutors Office.

Charges against Dent of resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer were dropped after the video was released nearly two months after the incident occurred. A count of possession of cocaine remained, but Dent claimed the drugs were planted in his car. The drug charge against Dent was dropped “in the best interest of justice,” Worthy said.

article by Elisha Fieldstadt via msnbc.com

Four Years After He Was Killed By Police, DJ Henry’s Memory Is Helping Kids

Angella and Dan Henry. Angella Henry said she works day and night to keep the memory of her son alive through the DJ Henry Dream Fund
Angella and Dan Henry. Angella Henry said she works day and night to keep the memory of her son alive through the DJ Henry Dream Fund (Credit: Phillip Martin / WGBH)

It’s been four years since a college student from Easton was shot to death by a New York police officer. Since then, Trayvon Martin was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer and Michael Brown was killed by a policeman. The controversial killings of these young black men have sparked community outrage and scrutiny of the behavior of law enforcement. For the family of Danroy “DJ” Henry Jr., they still wait for the legal process to play out — but they’re also finding ways to remember their son.

This Wednesday would have been DJ Henry’s 25th birthday. The Boston NAACP says that day they will send a letter to the organization’s national members asking them to press the Justice Department for a full and complete investigation into the Henry shooting.

For all the heartache, for all the lingering questions, this was a night to celebrate DJ Henry’s life, shaped by a love of sports.

“We just ask that you think about tonight, not as giving us money, but as helping children who would love to say yes say yes,” said DJ’s father, Dan Henry. “These young children, their biggest need is to remain children.”

Dan Henry told an audience of 400 at the fourth annual DJ Henry Dream Fund that he could not think of a better way to remember his son than by helping others succeed.

One of those helped is Quincy Omari Picket.

“My mom heard about it and she went and signed up, and I got a scholarship,” said the 10-year old from Brockton. “I was happy. I was surprised. I lost 30 pounds. I lost all that weight. I tried on my suit and didn’t have to buy a new one.”

As DJ’s life was remembered at the annual fundraiser, his death is still hard to reconcile. Henry played football for Pace University in New York. After a homecoming game on Oct. 16, 2010, he and several friends went to a bar to celebrate. DJ was the designated driver. So when the bar closed, he went to get the car.

Idling in a fire lane, he was told by a cop to move on, according to witnesses. He did. What happened next is as unsettling today as it was four years ago.

Continue reading “Four Years After He Was Killed By Police, DJ Henry’s Memory Is Helping Kids”

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
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