December 17, 2012

Police Brutality an Unfortunate Reality in Kentucky

Police officers have a dangerous and often thankless job. They put their lives at risk for the safety of the general public, and we appreciate their efforts. But sometimes, for whatever reason, some people in this type of job go too far when dealing with a suspect. This is called police brutality.

Police brutality can take many forms and can happen in many different places. The use of excessive force is a common type of police brutality that often results in personal injury or even death. In a recent Kentucky brutality case, the family of one man is claiming that he died after being abused at a county detention center. According to the wrongful death lawsuit, the man was serving a 10-day sentence for a DUI when he had two seizures in May 2012. During the second seizure, he was restrained in a chair and sprayed with pepper spray. He was then given an anti-anxiety drug and returned to his cell where he became unresponsive. Jail employees were unable to revive him. The lawsuit states that the corrections officers "engaged in various aggressive and unwarranted activities, conduct and behavior" that led to the victim’s death.

A few years ago, we reported on an alleged police brutality case that occurred in Louisville, KY. A woman’s neighbors called the police on her children and their friends. When the police arrived, she told the kids to go home. The police officer hit her head against part of his car and sprayed her with pepper spray. He then arrested her, saying she assaulted him. This second action is another type of police brutality – false imprisonment. Fortunately for the victim, the jury in her personal injury case believed her and she was awarded $1 million in damages.

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August 28, 2008

Kentucky Jury Awards Louisville Woman Over $1 Million in Police Brutality Case

A Louisville woman who says she was the victim of police brutality has been awarded more than $1 million by a Kentucky jury. Maria DeCamillis Raque filed a Kentucky personal injury lawsuit against Strathmoor Village and former police officer James Wilder because she says that Wilder attacked her and filed charges against her for crimes she did not commit.

The incident occurred in October 2003 when a neighbor contacted police complaining about DeCamillis Raque’s son and friends, who she says were playing hide and seek. DeCamillis Raque says that when she told her son’s friends to go home, Wilder grabbed her neck and dragged her into his squad car before smashing her head against the vehicle’s divider and spraying her on the face with pepper spray.

DeCamillis Raque says the beating took place in front of her children. Wilder then charged her with committing felony crimes, including assaulting a police officer, that could have led to her spending 15 years in prison if she had been convicted. DeCamillis Raque says that Strathmoor Village said it would drop the charges against her if she agreed not to file a police brutality lawsuit. During her criminal trial in 2004, it took a Jefferson County jury four minutes to acquit her of all charges.

Apparently, Wilder had been cited in the past for insubordination, using excessive violence against citizens, and getting into altercations with coworkers. He has also been sued in the past for using excessive force. DeCamillis Raque’s attorney says that Strathmoor Village failed to do a proper background check before hiring Wilder and gave him a gun and badge following a 15-minute interview in a parking lot.

Police Brutality
Police officers, FBI agents, and other law enforcement officers are not allowed to use excessive physical or verbal force when dealing with citizens, including suspects, defendants, and persons convicted of crimes. If you are a victim of police brutality, you may be entitled to receive personal injury compensation for the harm that you have suffered.

Examples of Police Brutality:

• Verbal abuse
• Physical assault
• False arrest
• Sexual assault
• Intimidation and threats

Jury Awards Louisville Woman In Police Brutality Case,, August 15, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Police Brutality, Human Rights Watch

Top 5 Police Brutality Videos,