Use of Force: News and Publications

Montana County and Victim's Family Reach $1.25M Settlement in Police Shooting

In May 2017, the family of a Huntley, Montana man killed by two Yellowstone County Sheriff's deputies agreed to a settlement of $1.25 million. The victim, Loren Simpson, was 28 in 2015 when former deputies Jason Robinson and Christopher Rudolph responded to a reported burglary. The deputies fired at least 24 shots at Simpson, although, according to a U.S. District Court judge, there was no proof Simpson had committed any crime.

County of Los Angeles v. Mendez, et al.

"The central purpose of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 is to “give a remedy to parties deprived of constitutional rights, privileges and immunities by an Official’s abuse of his position.” Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167, 172 (1961). Petitioners’ proposed rule—that the reasonableness of Fourth Amendment seizures be evaluated without regard to any facts but those at the exact moment an officer applies force—flies in the face of this purpose, as well as the Court’s longstanding precedent.  If adopted, this rule would prevent innocent parties injured or killed by police during a stop or arrest from presenting any evidence of the officers’ conduct leading up to the moment of violence, even if that earlier conduct was a violation of well-established constitutional law. This Court should reject the Petitioners’ reductionist, outcome-oriented approach, and affirm that Section 1983 Fourth Amendment claims are to be evaluated under the totality of the circumstances, using ordinary principles of proximate cause."

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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$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.

A Mutated Rule: Lack of Enforcement In the Face of Persistent Chokehold Complaints in New York City

NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board
NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board

"In July 2014, CCRB Board Chair Richard Emery, in the wake of the tragic death of Eric Garner and on behalf of his fellow Board members, asked the CCRB staff to undertake an objective, comprehensive assessment of chokehold complaints made to the CCRB. This study investigates chokehold complaints, primarily from January 2009 until June 2014, in order to report findings and make recommendations to the Police Commissioner and the public. After documenting and evaluating five and a half years of chokehold complaints, their patterns and the likely causes of their persistence, this report recommends ways in which the CCRB and the NYPD can collaborate to reduce chokehold incidents and eliminate future chokehold tragedies. This report is an agency report prepared by staff as directed by the Chair."

$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."