Yesterday a Brooklyn federal jury awarded (verdict sheet here) plaintiff Kevin Jarman $510,000 ($480,000 compensatory, $30,000 punitive) in damages arising from alleged excessive force during an arrest for shoplifting from a Path Mark store.
Plaintiff alleged in his complaint that after he was handcuffed, the arresting officer “yanked very violently on the handcuffs” which caused plaintiff to lose his balance, fall, and break his ankle. He also claimed that during this process, the officers were laughing at him and indicated that they were going to upload video of his fall to the internet.
The verdict may or may not be challenged, and if it is, it may not stand. In either case, it sends a strong message to New York City Police Officers that suspicion of criminal activity does not give them a license to engage in excessive force.