Langsam Law LLP

“There is no better advocate in New York, and maybe the universe, to have in your corner.”

The Police Officer’s Role in Society: To Protect, Not Abuse

Posted January 14, 2015 by Elise Langsam

Recent headlines have highlighted numerous instances in which a police officer abuses his position, violating someone’s civil rights by falsely arresting, imprisoning and even assaulting them. This may even extend to malicious prosecution of the person by the District Attorney. If any of these situations occur, a civil lawsuit to recover monetary compensation may be filed against the wrongdoer, usually the Police Department (NYPD) and the City of New York.

More and more innocent people have been arrested (generally for “resisting arrest”) only to be freed without any charges being filed against them, or having the charges dismissed due to a lack of evidence. Here are some examples of lawsuits I have successfully brought to remedy these wrongs:


  • A 25-year old man, who had never been arrested in his life, was falsely imprisoned for two days on Rikers Island. He was eventually let out after being told the arresting officer “made a mistake.”
  • During Hurricane Sandy, a middle-aged woman was in line at a gas station with hundreds of other cars. She had been waiting for over an hour when a police car randomly pulled up beside her, and a police officer told her to move her vehicle. She did not know where to move it, so the police officer accused her of resisting arrest. She was handcuffed and jailed until all charges were dismissed, but not without being badly traumatized by the experience.


In another case, it was the symptoms resulting from a man’s medical condition that wrongfully garnered the attention of the NYPD:


  • A plainclothes policeman entered a taxi and asked the driver to take him someplace. Unbeknownst to the officer, the driver suffered from Parkinson’s disease, resulting in slurred speech. The police officer wrongly assumed that the driver’s slurred speech was due to alcohol and arrested him. Throughout his three-day-long incarceration, the driver repeatedly told the police about his medical condition and requested the prescription medicine he needed to control it. His pleas were ignored and he suffered a life-threatening seizure. The NYPD dropped the charges, but their civil liability did not end there. As a result of the NYPD’s false arrest and false imprisonment of this innocent man, we were able to successfully secure compensation for him.

Many people who have been through the ordeal of a jail stay are grateful to be released and eager to put the experience behind them. They do not realize how important it is to hold the police officers accountable for the violation of their civil rights, which they can do by bringing a civil lawsuit.

Contacting an attorney who is experienced in handling this type of case is the best way for someone to ensure that his or her rights are being protected. If your rights have been violated, it is important that you act immediately, since there are strict time limitations for claims against the NYPD and the City of New York. Call Langsam Law at (212) 742-2700 today for a free evaluation.

Note: Prior results do not guarantee similar results.

Share Button