Patch: Chelsea's Precinct Has Among The Fewest Cop Lawsuits, Data Shows

By Sydney Pereira, Patch Staff
Mar 7, 2019

Police in the 10th Precinct have among the city's fewest federal lawsuits filed against them for police misconduct, according to a new database.

The precinct, which covers Chelsea through the southern parts of Hell's Kitchen, has had three federal lawsuits associated with it since 2015, according to a new database CAPStat launched by The Legal Aid Society on Wednesday.

Three lawsuits was comparably less than, for instance, 91 lawsuits with over $9 million in settlements in East New York's 75th Precinct, which had the most suits in the city. The 73rd, which covers Brownsville and Ocean Hill, had the second most federal lawsuits in the city at 39, the database shows.

Of the three lawsuits in the 10th, one involved a man standing outside who was approached by an officer and allegedly thrown against a wall, searched, and arrested for possession of what turned out to be Alka-Seltzer in a 2015 suit, the database says.

In another suit, a man fell asleep in a taxi ride from Brooklyn to upper Manhattan, the database summary of the case says. The taxi stopped at West 42nd St., and the plaintiff woke up to an officer saying he would be arrested if he did not pay the fare. The plaintiff paid and attempted to document the officers' badge numbers with his phone, after which officers arrested him for attempted assault.

The database features federal police misconduct lawsuits by precincts, transit districts, among other information aimed to hold the NYPD accountable.

"CAPStat will help New Yorkers gain a more thorough understanding of lawsuits filed against the NYPD for misconduct and will help the public hold the NYPD accountable for reoccurring patterns of misconduct that the department itself routinely ignores," a staff attorney with the special litigation unit at The Legal Aid Society's criminal practice Cynthia Conti-Cook said in a statement.

The database, its website emphasizes, is not representative of the full picture of police misconduct in New York City. The data includes federal lawsuits from 2015 through June 2018 regarding civil rights violations.

With the database's launch, "we join a national movement including fellow defenders, advocates, and community members to shed much needed daylight on police departments and their actions," Conti-Cook said.

See the database here.