NYPD Settles Case In Which It Arrested Guy For Recording Stop And Frisk, Pays $125,000

from the finishing-all-the-city's-business dept

In yet another case in which police illegal arrested someone for filming the police, the police have been forced to pay up. Unlike the big Simon Glik case, it appears that the NYPD (under new management!) decided to do its best to settle the case and get it off the books. They’re paying $125,000 to Dick George, who recorded police doing one of its infamous stop-and-frisks. According to George’s lawsuit, not only did the police arrest George and delete the photos from his camera (after he told the kids who were stopped and frisked to get the cops’ badge numbers next time), the police flat out knew what they were doing was illegal — telling George to sue the police:


?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.

Not surprisingly, the new mayor and new police chief didn’t want this case to go very far, and got George to agree to a $125,000 settlement. Will victories like this get police to stop these kinds of things? Doubtful, but it’s still good to see.



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Comments on “NYPD Settles Case In Which It Arrested Guy For Recording Stop And Frisk, Pays $125,000”

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39 Comments
That One Guysays:

Not surprisingly, the new mayor and new police chief didn’t want this case to go very far, and got George to agree to a $125,000 settlement. Will victories like this get police to stop these kinds of things? Doubtful, but it’s still good to see.

Is so much as a penny of that settlement coming out of the pay of the officer in question? Will his pay be docked to pay for the settlement amount? His pension? Will the precinct he’s from be paying any of that amount such that it will require budget cuts elsewhere as they suddenly find themselves $125K short? Will his union be paying out?

If ‘no’ to the above, then such settlements aren’t going to do squat to get police to stop harassing people that record them, because why should they care, the public is the one footing the bill in the end.

Anonymoussays:

Re:

I don’t think the cop should be responsible for the amount; this could lead to all sorts of nasty situations.

However, his precinct should be on the hook for that amount. Doing things at this level would get the problem cleaned up in short order. Of course, it would also provide incentive for the entire precinct to cover up incidents like this.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Not Their Money

Still legit though. The People paying the taxes are JUST AS RESPONSIBLE! They voted them in and do nothing to advance candidates that will change this crap!

I hate this “not their money” BS when it comes to the state having to pay out settlements.

If YOU citizens are tired of having your taxes pay for this stupidity get on off your damn duff and run against the assholes doing it, until then, STFU or support someone who will!

That One Guysays:

Re: Re: Not Their Money

Yes, because obviously people running for public office make sure to tell the public what their real stances on topics are, rather than what they think the public want to hear, and so when public officials and/or police do stuff like this it’s completely the fault of the public for not having known it sooner. /s

I’ve asked this before, and I still have yet to get a satisfactory answer, but why exactly do some people have a complete and utter aversion to public officials being held personally accountable for their actions? It’s always ‘it’s the fault of the taxpayers for not knowing better/doing something, lets punish them’, never ‘lets punish the one who actually committed the crime’.

If someone assaulted another person, and was ordered to pay the medical fees and a punitive fine, they would be the ones on the hook for paying that money out, because they are the one responsible. And yet suddenly when a public official does something wrong/illegal all that responsibility is re-directed to the public, and they get off without having to pay a cent? How does that make sense?

In fact, I’ll even give you this: I agree that the public shares some blame for the rotten system we’ve got.

When they re-elect people who have shown themselves to be corrupt or self-serving, at best it was because the other choice was worse, in which case the public’s responsibility is decreased somewhat, because their hand was forced, but more often it’s due to apathy and disillusionment, where people simply don’t think they can do anything to fix the problem and so don’t even try. In that case, the public gets what they give. They don’t bother to try and fix the problem, so it remains broken.

Now, even given all of the above, why should a public official, whether political or police, not be made to pay, personally, for their actions? At most, the blame is shared, where the public is guilty of apathy or indifference to a corrupt system and don’t care enough to fix it, but the official/officer is still responsible for what they’ve done.

In that case, split the payment, half using taxpayer dollars, and half paid directly by the responsible person/party. Insisting that the public pay all of it is ridiculous, as it means the one who actually committed the crime gets away without any punishment at all, and provides absolutely no incentive for them not to do the same wrong/illegal actions again in the future.

John Fendersonsays:

Re: Re: Re: Not Their Money

“why exactly do some people have a complete and utter aversion to public officials being held personally accountable for their actions?”

I don’t see anyone here who has such an aversion.

Public officials who act illegally absolutely should be held accountable for their actions. They should be prosecuted and if found guilty be punished.

These fines aren’t that, though. The fines are to hold the police department itself accountable. Therefore, the department should feel that pain.

That One Guysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Not Their Money

More often than not though the only punishment is the fine, and while some jail time would be nice for those that abuse their positions for personal gain or enjoyment, until that enters the equation I see nothing wrong with the one who commits the crime paying out of their own pocket as punishment.

If the fine is meant to punish the department, then split it, say 25/75 between officer and department, don’t just dump all of it on the department.

Baron von Robbersays:

“?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.”

That should, in the very least, now be former Lt. Dennis Ferber, if the was any justice.

RailRulersays:

Such naivete

This has been going on for years. Rights are violated, lawsuit is filed, the city settles it for peanuts, and nothing changes. Some members of the city council publicly grumble about how much is being paid out in settlements, but they don’t have any power. The mayor supposedly appoints the police commissioner, but the choices are limited.

John Fendersonsays:

Re: Re: Re:

And that’s where we, the public, gets some blame. This probably varies from state to state, but where I live, police departments have to go to the voters to get their budgets increased.

Interestingly enough, police departments have been having an increasingly difficult time getting voters to approve their funding proposals.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Of course, then the cops can just slack off even more when responding to real crimes. As soon as one bad incident conveniently gets mentioned in the press, they simply blame the taxpayers for underfunding them.

It’s a no-win situation: we get blamed for our failure to rein in the police, or we get blamed for preventing them from fighting crime. (Similar to politicians being afraid restraining the NSA because of the risk of getting blamed for the next terrorist attack…)

As an example, I don’t think the people of Ferguson had much choice about who was patrolling their streets. Lack of money, sway in the greater StL MSA’s politics, and even basic hope left them with only one choice. Wait for a trigger event, and create something that the media simply couldn’t ignore.

Everett Edwardssays:

What kind of ‘reporting’ is this? The NYPD didn’t “settle” ** shit **.

It’s the Corporation Counsel of NYC that handles the lawsuits.

This is an important distinction for all sorts of reasons that should be obvious.

If you’re going to write about the law and judgements etc, whatever the issue, perhaps ya’ll should understand the PROCESS.

The Corporation Counsel operates under the direction of the Mayor– thus their freqeunt scumbag behavior under Giuliani and Bloomberg– but NYPD…

Didn’t “settle” anything!

Austinsays:

Wanna stop this?

Then make the verdict come out of the officer’s own salaries. The city should not be paying for the mistake of 1 or 2 cops, especially when their “mistake” isn’t even in line with internal department guidelines, much less the law the rest of us have to follow.

So divert 50% of the officers’ salaries towards paying this verdict. As soon as it costs the officers more than a light slap on the wrist when they pull stunts like this, it will stop immediately.

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