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Author Topic: Duke Lacrosse Damages! Compare 8 Recent Innocence Awards  (Read 1791 times)
Sydney Carton
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Duke Lacrosse Damages! Compare 8 Recent Innocence Awards
« on: November 12, 2008, 01:59:26 PM »

   Thanks to Quasimodo over at LS.
     As he clearly demonstrates,on a compaarative damages basis,the Dukies may be asking too little rather than too much:

10 Months Lost
Los Angeles, CA: (Apr-23-08) James Ochoa, a 22-year-old Buena Park man, brought a lawsuit against the state, alleging that he was wrongly arrested and convicted for a crime he didn't commit. Court papers reveal that Ochoa spent 10 months in prison for a carjacking he did not commit. . . The suit stated that the Orange County district attorney's office prosecuted Ochoa despite having DNA evidence and fingerprints linking someone else to the carjacking near a Buena Park nightclub on May 23, 2005.

As part of a settlement reached, the Orange County district attorney's office recommended that the former Buena Park man be paid $31,700 for spending 10 months in prison. Additionally, Ochoa also received a tentative $550,000 settlement in the suits he filed against Buena Park, its Police Department and the dog handler. [LOS ANGELES TIMES: FALSELY CONVICTED MAN TO BE COMPENSATED]

[Ochoa did not have his name bandied about in the national press nor have his picture on the cover of NEWSWEEK; did not receive death threats; was not pilloried in the media; etc.]

Innocent Man Detained
Denver, CO: (Apr-02-08) Brad Braxton brought a wrongful arrest lawsuit against the city of Denver, CO, alleging that he was arrested in December 2007, for a crime he didn't commit. Braxton's suit claimed that he was arrested and jailed for nine days without going before a judge, despite the fact that he repeatedly pleaded that he was innocent. Sources close to the case stated that the mix up could not be explained as the true suspect in the case was white and looked nothing like Braxton.

The suit was resolved as the two sides reached a settlement agreement, in which the city of Denver agreed to pay Braxton $30,000 to end his wrongful arrest lawsuit. Records state that the Denver City Council voted in his favor awarding him the settlement sum. [9 NEWS: MAN WRONGFULLY JAILED AWARDED $30K IN SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT]

[See above.]

False Arrest
Greer, SC: (Feb-18-08) Denise Riddle, a Greer resident, brought a lawsuit against the city, alleging that she was falsely arrested. The suit claimed that a Greer police officer handcuffed and arrested Riddle at her home at 10 p.m. Feb. 1, 2006, on a bad check charge that she had made restitution on early on. Online court records show the warrant had been dismissed by Greer Municipal Court in November 2002. Following the incident, Riddle filed a civil suit in Greenville County Court of Common Pleas against the city claiming false arrest/imprisonment, assault, battery and trespass/nuisance by a Greer police officer.

Sources close to the case stated that the parties had reached a settlement, in which the city's insurance company agreed to pay $50,000 to resolve the false arrest allegations. City sources stated that the settlement releases the city and the South Carolina Municipal Insurance & Risk Financing Fund from any further claims, according to the document. [GREENVILLE ONLINE: CHARGES DISMISSED]

[This woman was NOT PLACED ON TRIAL, nor did she incur expenses connected with a trial; nor did she face possible deportation; nor was her citizenship delayed; nor did she suffer adverse media publicity. ]

City of Los Angeles
The family of the former Notorious B.I.G. filed a lawsuit against the city for withholding evidence on suspects related to the rap artist's death. Notorious B.I.G., born Christopher Wallace, was only 24 when he was gunned down March 9, 1997, after a party at the Petersen Automotive Museum. A Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detective hid statements linking the killing to rogue LAPD Officers David Mack and Rafael Perez. A federal judge ordered the city of Los Angeles to pay a $1.1 million settlement to the family for intentionally withholding evidence. (Jan-21-06) [LOS ANGELES TIMES]

Federal Bureau of Investigation
In 2003, environmentalist Josh Connole was arrested for allegedly setting fire to 125 vehicles at SUV dealerships in the San Gabriel Valley. He was arrested without probable cause and spent four days in jail. Connole filed a civil rights lawsuit against the bureau and was awarded a $100,000 settlement. (Nov-15-05) [MERCURY NEWS]

Atlanta Police Department
On November 2, 2004, Diana Dietrich-Barnes was slammed to the ground and arrested by a police officer at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. A video camera captured the incident and the footage was broadcast around the nation. Dietrich-Barnes had circled the airport several times looking for her 78 year old mother. She stopped her vehicle at the curb to check her itinerary and Officer Terrance Alexander told her to move. As she started to back up, the outside mirror of her vehicle bumped him and that is when Alexander pulled her from her car, threw her to the pavement and handcuffed her. Dietrich-Barnes was awarded a $350,000 settlement for unnecessary force. (Nov-16-05) [USA TODAY]

Valencia County, NM
In 2006, a notice was sent to Valencia County requesting that it immediately cease its policy of conducting strip searches of all incoming pre-trial detainees. A class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of anyone who had been subjected to a strip search. The lawsuit contended the strip searches were unconstitutional and conducted on people booked into the jail on minor charges or by mistake. The class claimed the "categorical and indiscriminate practice" violates both the US and the New Mexico Constitutions. Valencia County stated it would not comply. The class reached an $8.5 million settlement with Santa Fe County and Management & Training Corporation in a class action lawsuit that condemned this procedure. (Feb-03-07) [NEWS BULLETIN: STRIP SEARCH SETTLEMENT]

[How about police who deliberately arrange a perp walk in front of the cameras? Is that a violation of privacy, and defamation? And add to that, what if the police knew that the suspects were not guilty?]

Owasso, OK agrees to pay $300,000 settlement in civil rights violations lawsuit.
Tulsa, OK: (Jun-19-08) The City of Owasso has agreed to pay $300,000 as part of a settlement between the city and the estate of Todd Thomas Hastings. The estate filed a federal lawsuit alleging that Owasso Police officers had violated his rights of search and seizure. Owasso police responded to a 9-1-1 call at Hastings’ home in August of 2002. When police arrived and knocked on the door, Hastings answered the door wielding a 20-inch sword. The police report indicates that Hastings began to swing the sword and lunge toward the officers, at which time the officers fired their weapons in self-defense. Hastings died as a result of the shooting. Tulsa County District Attorney's office found that the officers were justified in using deadly force and an investigation by the Owasso Police Department found that both officers' actions were within department policy. The Hastings' estate filed the federal civil lawsuit in August 2003 against the city of Owasso and the two Owasso police officers. The case was set for jury trial beginning July 16th, prior to the settlement, which will be paid by the city’s insurance.

[What about a SWAT raid on a house where a student has just been delivered a package not addressed to him, in order to fake probable cause to invade the house?]
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