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The Almighty Buck The Courts News

$125,000 Settlement Given To Man Arrested for Photographing NYPD 231

mpicpp sends word of a $125,000 settlement for a man who was arrested for photographing members of the New York Police Department. On June 14th, 2012, the man was sitting in his car when he saw three African-American youths being stopped and frisked by police officers. He began taking pictures of the encounter, and after the police were done, he advised the youths to get the officers' badge numbers next time. When the officers heard him, they pulled him violently from his car and arrested him under a charge of disorderly conduct. The police allegedly deleted the pictures from his phone (PDF). Rather than go to trial, the city's lawyers decided a settlement was the best course of action.
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$125,000 Settlement Given To Man Arrested for Photographing NYPD

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  • idgi (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @07:45PM (#47708023)

    I get the civil settlement, but did the police not also commit a crime?

  • by HaeMaker ( 221642 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @07:56PM (#47708091) Homepage
    Always lock your phone and set media to sync to the cloud (if you can afford the data...). It would have been really interesting to hear what the cops told the judge when they sought a warrant to unlock it.
  • by chromaexcursion ( 2047080 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @09:57PM (#47708877)
    Over 1000 times $125,000 is over $1 Billion.
    Fiscal penalties can work ....
    They're ruined.
    Civil rights violations are a federal crime.
  • by Michael Woodhams ( 112247 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @09:58PM (#47708889) Journal

    From TFA:

    “Now we’re going to give you what you deserve for meddling in our business and when we finish with you, you can sue the city for $5 million and get rich, we don’t care,” Lt. Dennis Ferber said, according to the suit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.

    It appears the police followed exactly your logic. However if that statement is substantiated, Ferber's boss would be seriously derelict in their duty if they didn't fire him for this. He's publicly stated that he doesn't care about knowingly causing a multi-million dollar liability for his employer. IANAL, but I expect that should these cops not get punished and pull a similar stunt again, the city would open themselves up for greater punitive damages, as they'd let employees with a known track record of rights abuse continue working where they were likely to abuse again.

    It would be good to see criminal proceedings, but I doubt it will happen.

  • by NormalVisual ( 565491 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @05:43AM (#47710637)
    I think it needs to come directly out of the affected officers' pockets, in the form of an individual professional liability insurance policy similar to what doctors carry. Make that coverage a condition for employment in a law enforcement capacity. If the cop does his job right, his premiums stay low. If he screws up too much, his premiums will get so high that he can't continue to work in that field, or won't be able to find an insurer to cover him. No insurance, no job. A side benefit is that as the percentage of claims that get paid out rises, the cost is spread over the entire profession, which gives cops a financial incentive to keep their own in line.

Genius is ten percent inspiration and fifty percent capital gains.