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Brooklyn man gets $75K in NYPD chokehold suit

January 19, 2015 By Charisma L. Troiano, Esq. Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Prominently in the news because of the Eric Garner case, a Brooklyn man received $75,000 from New York City in his own chokehold case. AP Photo/The Star-Ledger, Aristide Economopoulos, File
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The city has settled with a Brooklyn father who claims police officers placed him in an illegal chokehold in 2013, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle has learned. 

Kevin Dennis-Palmer asserted that during an unusual traffic stop, two officers in a marked police vehicle stopped him as he was attempting to parallel park his car in Brownsville where he lived.

Dennis-Palmer says he tried to record the encounter via cellphone video, but further noted that during the encounter, “my phone is slapped out of my hand. I’m maced and then they’re trying to drag me out of the car and I’m telling them, ‘I’m stuck, I can’t get out of the car.’”

Once out of the car, Dennis-Palmer (6’-3’’) noted he was lying face-down when the officers tried to pick him up by his neck — effectively placing him in a chokehold. 

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

The NYPD placed a ban on chokeholds in the early 1990s, but as a report by the NYPD inspector general revealed earlier this month, chokeholds are not only still used within the department, but also officers who use the banned measure are rarely disciplined. 

As reported by The Associated Press, the inspector general’s probe of 10 suspected chokehold cases in the past five years found that the  Civilian Complaint Review Board — an NYPD watchdog agency — substantiated all of the chokehold claims and recommended disciplining the officers. But the Police Department did not pursue discipline in most of the cases, according to the report. Instead, most of the officers were instructed on department policy. 

In the Dennis-Palmer suit, the city and the NYPD do not admit any wrongdoing, but Dennis-Palmer’s attorney told the New York Daily News that “no one suit is what forces change. It is the accumulation of them that fosters public awareness … and the public’s demand for accountability.”

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