One of the largest settlements for a case of police brutality in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was related to the beating of a teenage man by three officers in January of 2010. The victim negotiated with the city and eventually received $75,000, then received another sum of over $100,000 in a civil lawsuit against the officers.
Young man is beaten by several officers while walking down a Pittsburgh street
The incident began when three officers in plain clothing were on patrol on Tiago Street. The victim claimed that he was only walking through the neighborhood to visit his grandmother’s house in the Homewood area. The three Pittsburgh officers confronted the victim when their paths met. An attorney for the young man claims that the police utilized a controversial technique called a jump out, where they ask unsuspecting people for money or drugs while undercover with no law enforcement identification.
The victim believes he was stopped due to racial profiling, and the cops accused him of being a drug dealer immidiately. The officers claim that the victim initiated contact with them, assaulted them, and then tried to resist arrest.
The situation eventually escalated, and the officers said they needed to use force because they mistakenly believed that he had a gun. All criminal charges related to the initial incident were dropped within a couple of weeks. The magistrate assigned to the case by the city said he did not believe that the officers were credible.
Photos after the beating showed the victim lying in a hospital bed and wearing a neckbrace. He had bruising all over his face and forehead, and one of his eyes was shut totally closed. At the time of the beating, the victim was an 18 year old high school student at CAPA with no criminal record. After the incident, the city council approved a bill months later that would pay for the victim’s medical treatment, legal fees, and other costs. The federal civil rights lawsuit associated with the beating found the officers liable for false arrest, but they were acquitted of all other charges.
Getting help after a police beating
As this story shows, police do routinely go way beyond what is necessary to detect crime in order to make arrests. Violence is associated with many of these illegal actions, and officers will charge a suspect with resisting arrest to try to justify their actions. A civil lawsuit is the best way to make the public aware of this misconduct and provide compensation to victims.
Talk to a local police brutality attorney in Pittsburgh
There are lawyers who handle civil rights cases against police departments in your city. Scanlon and Wojton Attorneys at Law can speak with you about the possibility of filing a lawsuit.