In 2014, Tanisha Anderson, a 37-year-old Cleveland woman afflicted with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, was suffering an episode when her family called the police. When Officers Scott Aldridge and Bryan Myers arrived, a struggle ensued and Anderson was placed in the back of a police car. Her hands were cuffed behind her back and one of the officers pushed his knee into her back. Anderson asphyxiated, and the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office ruled her death a homicide.
Before leaving office, President Barack Obama issued a record number of commutations and pardons, including granting the release of Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar López Rivera. Lopez Rivera, now 74, has spent more than half of his life incarcerated due to a "seditious conspiracy" conviction. US prosecutors accused the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional group, of which Rivera was a member, of carrying out 140 bombings on military bases and other government installations. López Rivera has always denied involvement in any fatal attacks.
In a false imprisonment and malicious prosecution case litigated for over a decade, this month New York City finally settled with Maria De Lourdes Torres for $4 million. The settlement provides approximately $1 million for each year Torres was jailed at Rikers Island before the murder charges brought against her were dropped in 2007.
On May 5th, 2015, Brandon Glenn, 29, was standing on the sidewalk in California's Venice Beach when Los Angeles Police Department officers notified him he was under arrest with no apparent justification. While other officers proceeded to restrain Glenn, and without giving any warning or commands beforehand, Officer Clifford Proctor then shot Glenn twice in the back, killing him.
On Monday, December 19th 2016, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu spoke during a Xavier University press conference convened to announce settlements in connection with several Department incidents of misconduct circa 2005's Hurricane Katrina. Speaking on behalf of the city, which has agreed to pay $13.3M to 17 different plaintiffs, four of whom were killed by New Orleans Police Department officers, Mayor Landrieu publicly apologized to the families of the victims.
In July 2016, New York City agreed to pay $614,500 to Jateik Reed in settlement for his brutal 2012 beating in the Bronx by 42nd Precinct NYPD officers. Reed was 19 in January 2012 when he and several friends were stopped and frisked; when Reed questioned the legality of his detainment, officers began beating him with their batons.
On December 6th, 2016, Boone County, Kentucky agreed to pay $3.5 million and implement new police department policies in settlement of a civil lawsuit brought by the family of Samantha Ramsey, who was shot and killed by a Boone County officer in 2014.
On Tuesday, December 6th, the City of San Jose, California agreed to pay Dawit Alemayehu $525,000 in settlement for permanent brain damage he suffered at the hands of San Jose police officer Jorge Garibay. Alemayehu was 26 in 2013 when he was arrested on suspicion of public drunkenness. Following a miscommuncation between Alemayehu and another officer about removing his belt while handcuffed, Garibay knocked Alemayehu face down to the concrete ground with a leg sweep.
On November 4th, 2016, a federal jury awarded $3 million to the family of Jason Moore, who died at 31 in 2011 after being Tased four times by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer while naked and unarmed.
The jurors found that former Ferguson Officer Brian Kaminski used excessive force on Moore, as well as failing to properly monitor, discipline and supervise his fellow officers. During his encounter with Moore, Kaminski fired his Taser four times, three of which after Moore had already fallen to the ground and without providing time for him to respond to Kaminski's commands.
On October 14, 2016, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer approved a settlement in the amount of $1 million for Teresa Sheehan, who in 2008 was pepper-sprayed and repeatedly shot in her San Francisco apartment after police responded to a report that she had threatened a social worker with a knife.