Police officers are supposed to protect and serve the public by investigating crimes and keeping dangerous criminals off the streets. Most officers do their job well and serve the public honorable. However, in a minority of police officers, claims of police brutality are not uncommon. Arrested subjects often accuse police officers of beating them, falsifying police reports and keeping them in jail when no charges exist.
In Philadelphia, police officers were recently accused of throwing an arrested subject into the back of a police van without buckling his seatbelt, then subjecting him to such a bumpy and jolting ride that he broke his neck. However, police officers provide a different version of the story. They claim that arrested subject James McKenna broke his neck while hitting his head against the bars of his cell.
This form of police brutality, commonly referred to as “nickel rides,” has a long history in Philadelphia. It is a way for police officers to punish arrested subjects who misbehave without physically abusing them. In the past, many people reported serious injuries, including paralysis, after riding in police vans. The police department was even forced to pay a $1.2 million settlement to a man who was paralyzed from the neck down after being transported in a police van.
The Philadelphia Inquirer ran an investigative report on the practice, at which time the police department vowed to end it. However it appears that the police department has started doing it once again. Four lawsuits have been filed against them for this type of police brutality in recent years.
If you have been injured during transport or otherwise mistreated by police officers, which has caused serious injuries, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. You may have a chance at obtaining a settlement and compensation for the injuries you suffered as a result of police brutality. If you or someone you know needs representation, contact an attorney at The Pearce Law Firm today to protect your rights.