Civil Rights Litigation, Generally: News and Publications

Investigation of the Chicago Police Department

United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division

"The pattern of unlawful force we found resulted from a collection of poor police practices that our investigation indicated are used routinely within [the Chicago Police Department].  We found that officers engage in tactically unsound and unnecessary foot pursuits, and that these foot pursuits too often end with officers unreasonably shooting someone—including unarmed individuals.  We found that officers shoot at vehicles without justification and in contradiction to CPD policy.  We found further that officers exhibit poor discipline when discharging their weapons and engage in tactics that endanger themselves and public safety, including failing to await backup when they safely could and should; using unsound tactics in approaching vehicles; and using their own vehicles in a manner that is dangerous.  These are issues that can and must be better addressed through training, accountability and ultimately cultural change."

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$2.25M Settlement for Family of Cleveland Woman Asphyxiated During Police Restraint

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.

Settlement of $4M for Woman Jailed for 4 Years Before Charges Dropped

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.

$4M Settlement for Family of 2015 Los Angeles Police Department Shooting Victim

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.

$13.3M Settlement and Public Apology for Multiple 2005 New Orleans Officer Killings

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.

$614K Settlement for Excessive Force Following Illegal NYPD Stop-and-Frisk

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.

Hernández v. Mesa

"The plenary power that the political branches of government exercise over the admission and exclusion of noncitizens does not compel a different conclusion.  In the first place, this case does not involve the admission or exclusion of noncitizens.  It involves an excessive force claim.  In any event, where constitutional rights do exist notwithstanding plenary power—as here, for the reasons set forth in Petitioners’ brief, see Br. 14-27—then the Court should recognize a cause of action that allows a remedy for violation of those rights.... Recognizing a Bivens cause of action in this context will not lead to a deluge of new claims.  To the contrary, numerous Courts of Appeals have long recognized the availability of a Bivens cause of action in the border patrol and immigration enforcement context, and lower courts have not been inundated with litigation as a consequence of this recognition.  Nor is there any evidence that legitimate immigration enforcement interests have been unduly constrained as a result. Accordingly, this Court should permit a Bivens cause of action in this case."

White v. Condict

"Pursuant to state law, petitioner David White, a convicted sex offender, was required to update his home address with the local authorities when he moved. White did so—he reported his move to 927 Upland Street. But the clerk at the police station im-properly entered his address as 920 Upland. When law enforcement could not locate him at 920 Upland, White was charged with failure to report. Respond-ent Newton Condict, White’s parole officer, arrested White. Officer Condict knew that White had moved and had properly registered his new address, but Condict failed to disclose this information to the prosecutor. White spent eight months in jail awaiting trial—at which he was ultimately acquitted. The question presented is: Whether police officers have a clearly established duty to disclose exculpatory information." [from the Petition]