The family, represented by NPAP member Jordan Kushner, is still pursuing a case against the for-profit hospital corporation Corizon, inc., which has a contract to provide medical care to the state's prisoners. The deceased inmate had been serving a 5 month sentence for a probation violation after a second degree assault conviction and had a history of seizure disorders and schizophrenia. Prison medical records show he was left on the floor of his cell in urine-soaked clothes overnight and that a prison nurse turned away an ambulance crew when they were finally called the next morning.
News and Opinion
Cammie, the 18-month-old American Bulldog, was shot and killed in March of 2010. Plaintiff filed suit in St. Louis federal court in January, 2012. Plaintiff argued that the police officer's job was to capture the animal rather than kill it, and that the city of LaGrange, where the shooting took place, was negligent in failing to train the officer in how to safely capture animals. The case settled about a month before it was set for trial.
Plaintiff, represented by NPAP member law firm Sivin & Miller, accused the officers of beating him while he was handcuffed at Southport Correctional Facility in 2008. 5 of the 6 accused officers were found to be liable and the jury awarded $65k in compensatory and $55k in punitive damages. New York State is only required to indemnify the officers for the compensatory damages.
Prison Legal News brought the federal suit in Oregon challenging Columbia County Jail’s postcard-only policy, as well as the jail’s customary practices of failing to deliver magazines and failing to provide procedural notice when inmate mail is confiscated or returned to senders. After trial, the District Court found that the jail was in breach of the Constitution on all three issues. The Court issued a permanent injunction on the issue of the postcard-only policy, and declaratory relief on the other two issues. A second trial regarding money damages is yet to be scheduled.
After 10 days of evidence, a Santa Ana Federal Court jury returned a verdict against two Long Beach police officers who shot and killed Douglas Zerby on December 12, 2010. While waiting for a friend, Mr. Zerby had been holding a garden hose nozzle, which Defendants claimed to have mistook for a weapon.
On March 25, a jury of seven awarded Perrim Anderson, 38, of Hempstead New York a monetary award of $65,000 finding that Deputy Sheriff Vincent Aparicio beat him and violated Mr. Anderson’s constitutional rights.
On March 25th, the Human Rights Defense Center submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission regarding exorbitant calling fees for inmates and their families. The comments were submitted in response to the Commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and intend to inform the Commission's effort to ensure just and resonable interstate phone rates for prisoners and detainees and their families.
On March 15, a jury in Albuquerque awarded 10.3 million dollar and change in damages against the City of Albuquerque and the stopping and shooting officers on Fourth Amendment and negligent retention and supervision claims in the shooting death of 25 year old Iraq veteran Kenneth Ellis III.
On February 19, 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon ruled that the AMA Coalition for Justice and Police Reform can participate in mediation with the City of Portland, the Department of Justice and the Portland Police Union to address a settlement agreement on police reforms. The settlement agreement arises out of a suit by the U.S. Department of Justice, which alleges that Portland Police use excessive force in interactions with people who are mentally ill, or who are perceived to be mentally ill.
Attorneys Rachel Steinback and Russell Ainsworth of Loevy & Loevy in Chicago received a $13,210,000 jury verdict for their client, David Ayers, in the Northern District of Ohio on March 8, 2013. Mr. Ayers was arrested in March 2000 for a murder he did not commit, and was wrongfully convicted on the basis of fabricated and falsified evidence, including the testimony of a jailhouse informant the defendants introduced on the eve of trial.