On August 31, 2015, New York City agreed to pay a $450,000 settlement to Robert Hinton, who in 2012 was subjected to a brutal beating by five corrections officers and their captain in a solitary confinement unit for men classified as mentally ill at the Rikers Island jail complex. The aggressors beat Hinton's face so severely that his nose was broken and his eyes swollen shut; after their attempts to cover up the beating did not meet with success, they were fired this past January.
Arrest and Detention: News and Publications
On Tuesday, September 1, 2015, a settlement was reached in the federal class action Ashker v. Governor of California brought on behalf of prisoners held in long term solitary confinement at California's Pelican Bay prison. Prior to the settlement, state prisoners could be subjected to an indeterminate term of solitary confinement based solely on their identification as gang affiliates.
On September 1, Los Angeles County approved a $1.6M settlement to be paid to the family of Austin Losorelli, 23, who committed suicide in the Men's Central Jail in 2013. Despite their awareness of his history of mental illness and attempted suicide, jail mental health workers and other staff repeatedly failed to place him in appropriate mental health housing; he was instead placed in a single-man cell, where he hung himself. His suicide was one of 10 at the jail in 2013 alone.
On August 19, the Los Angeles City Council approved a $1.1 million settlement to resolve a lawsuit filed in support of four homeless people cited and arrested in 2010 during an area crackdown on people living in their cars.
The 1983 city law providing the legal basis for the crackdown specified that "no person shall use a vehicle parked or standing upon any City street or upon any parking lot owned by the City of Los Angeles ... as living quarters either overnight, day-by-day, or otherwise."
Five men, who were exonerated in 2002 after being convicted and imprisoned for a highly sensationalized crime, agreed to a settlement of $40 million from New York City to resolve a long-fought civil rights lawsuit.
The lawsuit had accused the city’s police and prosecutors of false arrest, malicious prosecution and a racially motivated conspiracy to deprive the men of their civil rights, allegations which former long-term NYC Mayor Bloomberg denied and fought vigorously for more than a decade in federal court.
A federal appeals court has struck down a Los Angeles law which makes it illegal for people to live in their vehicles.
The decision comes as U.S. cities are increasingly enacting similar bans, such as camping in public places and sitting or lying on sidewalks.
The woman, May Molina, was represented by NPAP members at the law firm of Loevy & Loevy.
In 2004, Molina, a community activist with asthma and diabetes, was arrested during a police raid and held at the North Side Town Hall district police station. Officers repeatedly ignored warnings from Molina's lawyer, several family members who called in, and Molina herself that she was seriously ill and needed medical help. She had been in custody at the police station without medical assistance for more than 24 hours at the time of her death, medical records show.
The City of Boston will pay $20,000 to Brenda Wernikoff, a transgender woman, who was arrested at a homeless shelter after she refused to leave a woman's bathroom. In addition, the incident triggered an internal investigation into the arresting officers and put the Boston Police Department on notice that it needs to train all its officers on how to interact with the transgender community.
Wernikoff, who was represented by NPAP members Howard Friedman and David Milton, said that she was not just arrested, but humiliated and laughed at by the officers who booked her.
36-year-old Keith Briscoe died from traumatic asphyxia when former patrolman Sean Richards, and other officers and civilians, tried to detain him outside a Berlin Borough convenience store.