The civil rights issue of
police brutality has seen a lot of attention over the past year. In an effort to bring
one overlooked case to light, a
recent article published by the New York Times last month is yet another reminder to
the public that police misconduct is a serious concern in our state and
throughout the country, with many perpetrators escaping punishment for
violating the rights of citizens.
Back in 2010, Leonard Strickland, a prisoner suffering from schizophrenia,
was beaten to death inside the walls of the Clinton Correctional Facility
in Dannemora, NY. An internet security video clearly shows the handcuffed
inmate dragged across the floor, barely conscious and unable to move,
while a nurse looked on and did nothing. When medical responders finally
arrived, Strickland was described as having blood flowing from his ears,
feeling cold to the touch, and being covered with bruises and cuts. The
video documenting the last 45 minutes of his life was just released in
November as evidence in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the victim’s family.
Mr. Strickland’s death was only briefly covered in newspapers. It
was only after two murderers escaped the facility this past June that
the prison started to attract extraordinary attention, and along with
this publicity came an explosion of details concerning the prison’s
disturbing pattern of abuse. Scores of brutality lawsuits have been filed
against the facility by inmates in recent years, but the local district
attorney’s office and officials with the state police could not
recall the last time charges have been brought against a Clinton officer for
excessive force, if ever. Although state officials claim that they are looking into the
abuse claims, there is so far no indication that anything will come of it.
The personnel involved in the Strickland case all still either work in
the prison system or have retired with full benefits. Several of these
officers are still facing brutality accusations by inmates.
While many police officers act with integrity and bravery, there are some
that feel they are above the law. Speak with a New York attorney at The
Russell Friedman Law Group, LLP today if your civil rights have been violated
by a law enforcement officer using excessive force.
Call us directly at (516) 714-5975 or fill out an online form
to discuss your case for free.