Luis Solivan, 19, was walking home when the NYPD cruiser pulled a high-speed U-turn. He has no idea why, but he took off. According to his lawsuit, he was unarmed and not breaking any laws.
The two arresting officers said that Solivan punched both officers, grabbed their radios to prevent them from calling back-up, and then tried to unholster one of their guns. They also said that, for at least a moment, he physically transformed into this.
Solivan denies resisting arrest. He also claims that he was beaten, pepper-sprayed, beaten some more, and then taken to a jail cell where he was beaten.
Two veteran cops or a kid with a record … who would you believe?
A friendly neighbor captured this video via the window
Does the video change your mind? There are also pictures of a damaged wall, allegedly due to Solivan’s head being beaten against it. After he was arrested, he ended up in the hospital for a “blunt head injury” and injuries to his face and nose.
Solivan’s not a saint. In fact, he was facing attempted murder charges during this run-in. Those charges have since been handled in the juvenile court system.
The grand jury sided with Solivan after seeing the video. They declined to indict him for assaulting an officer.
Now, Solivan is suing the NYPD for the mayhem. Officers are privileged to use sufficient force to subdue a suspect until he is no longer a threat to their safety. The video shows Solivan pinned down and fists being planted into his head. Add the other alleged beatings in the hallway and the jail cell, and you have a potentially large verdict.
In fact, just this summer, one of the officers in this case was found to have used excessive force in another case, and lost a $500,000 judgment in the process. That case only awarded $1 in compensatory damages - meaning the victims had no expenses. We can bet that Solivan had some medical expenses. If he prevails in his lawsuit, the damages awarded could top that earlier half-million verdict.
- Consult a New York Personal Injury Attorney (FindLaw)
- NYPD Officers Sued for Punching Bronx Teen Repeatedly on Secret Camera (New York Magazine)
- NYPD Faces More than Politics After Excessive Force Against City Official (FindLaw’s New York Personal Injury Law Blog)
- Judge Raffaele, Is It Time To Reconsider an Excessive Force Lawsuit? (FindLaw’s New York Personal Injury Law Blog)