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Confidential Settlement – Police Assault/Excessive Force – Federal Claims

Conf.   |  Police Assault | Excessive Force   |  July 25, 2017

In a suit filed in the Eastern District Federal Court of North Carolina, we successfully represented a young man who had been injured by the Wilson police as part of a “jump out”. In these “stop and frisk” stops, police arrive at areas where pedestrians are traveling, jump out of a van, and begin interrogating the individuals they find. The jump outs are not in response to any reported crimes, but are done as a regular practice whenever youth are viewed on surveillance cameras positioned around the city.

In this instance, our client, a young man, refused to participate in an impromptu interrogation, then subsequently fled from the police, who chased him and apprehended him. In the encounter, our client sustained a zygomatic fracture and also alleged he was strip searched near the street. After numerous depositions of witnesses, officers involved in the jump out, officers who oversaw the program, and discovery that revealed information regarding the police department’s use of surveillance on its citizens, we were able to reach a confidential settlement that allowed the claim to resolve without trial.

At one point, the defense filed a Motion to Dismiss the claim, and our office argued and briefed the matter and prevailed on the issue, prompting the judge to issue a strongly worded opinion in our favor, which is public record.