Police misconduct in the form of excessive force may occur during an arrest or a non-intrusive investigatory stop. When an officer uses greater force than what would be reasonably considered necessary, a harmed individual may sue for damages. Excessive force may result from officers using their bare hands, guns, tasers or any other tools in their possession.
As reported by USA Today, there were close to 23,000 officers investigated in the U.S. over a ten-year period in response to allegations of excessive force. If an object or physical force used by an officer in the course of their work causes a serious injury, it may lead to the affected individual filing a legal action.
Lawsuit claims officer held a key while striking woman’s face
Allegations raised by a 45-year-old Bronx resident claimed that an NYPD officer struck her face while holding a handcuff key during her arrest. The force of the impact gouged her left eye out of its socket and left her with a devastating permanent injury and disfigurement.
As reported by the New York Daily News, the city settled the suit for $1.25 million after dropping charges related to the incident that led to the woman’s arrest. She now requires an acrylic eyeball and still experiences emotional pain when she takes the false eyeball out. The NYPD claims the officer did not use excessive force during the arrest.
Police misconduct settlements in NYC total millions of dollars
A police officer’s excessive physical force may violate an individual’s civil rights. Officers making arrests must follow department protocols to use care and avoid causing harm. The protocols, however, are not always adhered to. The Bronx woman’s suit reflected the third settlement during a six-month period made by NYC that settled for more than $1 million.