False Arrest / Police Brutality

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    On May 11, 2018, in the District Court of Maryland for Prince George’s County, Abigail Scott and Steve Kupferberg appeared for Trial on behalf of the client who was charged with 1) Failure to Obey a Reasonable and Lawful Order of a Law Enforcement Officer, to wit, comply with investigative stop made to prevent a disturbance; 2) Intentionally and Knowingly Obstruct and Hinder a Police Officer, PFC Proctor of the Maryland National Capital Park Police in the performance of his lawful duties; 3) Intentionally Resisting a Lawful Arrest; 4) Falsely Representing Himself as Police Officer with Fraudulent Design.

    On January 27, 2018, our client, an African-American male, was lawfully walking through the Allentown Park wearing his uniform as a special police officer who was coming home from his duties guarding a foreign embassy in the District of Columbia. The client was also carrying his groceries and a wheeled suitcase to his home.

    Without any cause whatsoever, PFC Proctor ordered the client to stop and explain why he was walking in a public park. The Client fully complied and identified himself as a special police officer. PFC Proctor confronted the client with his service weapon drawn. The client was then threatened with a taser, pepper sprayed, thrown to the ground and arrested. The client had his identification documents, including his special police identification documents removed and seized. The police refused to return his valid identification as a special police officer until May, 2018. The wrongful withholding of the client’s identification caused the client to miss work from January 27, 2018, until May, 2018.

    Abigail Scott handled the cross-examination of PFC Proctor with great skill and aplomb. The cross-examination was critical to our success.

    We entered a plea of not guilty and the Court found the client not guilty of all charges without the client having to take the stand or present any evidence. The Honorable Bryon S. Bereano ruled all criminal charges dismissed. These cases are quite difficult for the bench in that the Court must rule on the credibility of a police officer. Judge Bereano found that the charges were totally without merit and should not have been brought. Judicial integrity is essential to a fair trial and a fair finding. “Our hats are off” to Judge Bereano!

  • Md. Man Wins Police Abuse Suit; Jury Awards $900,000 in Pr. George’s
    Washington Post- November 3, 2000
    “A jury awarded more than $900,000 in damages yesterday to a Hyattsville man after finding that he was beaten by a Prince George’s County police officer who arrested him in a case of mistaken identity…The police struck Simms in the head and knees, “pounding him to the ground,” before realizing they had detained an innocent man, said Steven D. Kupferberg, one of Simms’s attorneys.”
  • Why Baltimore settled this case is the $200,000 question
    The Daily Record – July 5, 2010
    “It turned out that the man the police arrested, an immigrant, had not yet arrived in this country when the crime at issue occurred, and he was able to prove it, Nilson said. But the damage had already been done to his reputation…the man’s encounter with the police became “instantly public and went viral in the person’s community,” Nilson said. The man hired a lawyer, sued, and ended up negotiating the $200,000 settlement.”

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