Jury Awards $620,000 to Victim of Long Beach Police Brutality
Last week, longtime Long Beach, California resident, Ray Webb, finally received justice. In October 2011, Mr. Webb was attacked by four officers, and hospitalized for two days. Mr. Webb, who's now 62 years old, has a heart condition, which was exacerbated by the attack -- particularly by the repeated use of a taser. He suffered a heart attack and has had vision problems since the attack.
After filing a civil rights lawsuit against the police as a result of a shocking police brutality and excessive force incident, and taking the case all the way through trial, he was awarded $620,000 by a jury. Even more shocking, of the four officers involved, three are still employed by the department and remain on active patrol duty, and one resigned last year.
Details of the Case
Mr. Webb was allegedly stopped for a busted taillight. Somehow, police discovered that Mr. Webb's passenger was a probationer and asked both Mr. Webb and passenger to exit the vehicle. Then a search was conducted, which allegedly uncovered drugs. When Mr. Webb was approached by an officer, they accidentally collided, which set off the officer. Mr. Webb was beaten with batons, flash lights, placed in choke holds, despite providing no indication that he was not willing to comply. The beating lasted for several minutes, with four officers participating, during which Mr. Webb did not fight back. In addition to the beating, Mr. Webb was also charged criminally for the drugs allegedly found in his vehicle.
In court, the judge refused to admit the evidence of the drugs as a result of a motion to suppress due to an illegal search. After the drugs were suppressed, the criminal charges against Mr. Webb were dropped.
Police Brutality and Excessive Force
When law enforcement officers use an unreasonable amount of force, or are unjustified in the use of any force, or do not follow policies regarding when force can be used, a victim may have a strong claim for excessive force, police brutality, or police misconduct. These claims arise under the Fourth Amendment's guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure, the later part of which protects a person from being restrained/seized by force unreasonably.
Cases against law enforcement officers, their departments, cities, counties, states, or other responsible entity, are incredibly complex, even in cases that seem straightforward. Seeking out an experienced civil rights attorney, and discussing civil rights issues with your criminal defense attorney, is critical to do ASAP, as often these claims are subject to short deadlines and strict claim filing prerequisites.
- When to Sue the Police for Excessive Force (FindLaw Blotter)
- What Procedures Must the Police Follow While Making an Arrest? (FindLaw's Learn About the Law)
- Police Brutality Lawsuits and Section 1983 (FindLaw's Injured)
- Jury Awards 4.5M in Eureka Police Beating Death (FindLaw's Injured)