An Experienced Lawyer Who Will Fight for Your Rights
Sometimes an officer goes over the line and makes the decision to use force greatly in excess of that needed to control the situation. The officer could use a TASER, firearm, handcuffs or another method in an unreasonable manner that results in permanent injuries to the arrestee. Death, permanent disfigurement and disability or severe bruising and pain can be the outcome of this scenario.
The United States Constitution and the Civil Rights Act give those injured the right to sue the officer and the department that employs him or her, and the victim can be awarded financial damages. These Constitutional Torts allow those injured to sue for emotional and physical pain related to law enforcement conduct.
Advocates for Victims of Police Violence and Unnecessary Force
At Polinske & Associates, P.C., we are aggressive advocates who are unafraid to fight for the legal rights of our clients. We have successfully sued many departments in both state and federal courts. Our clients have been satisfied with settlements and jury awards for a variety of wrongs, including excessive force, false arrest, malicious prosecution, battery and civil rights violations. Some of our targets have been the City of East St. Louis, Alorton, Alton, Belleville, Granite City, Madison, Venice and Centreville.
Police Brutality Cases
Our recent police brutality cases include:
- Phipps v. Cahokia - Mr. Phipps was at home in his kitchen. Three Cahokia police officers entered his house an what they claimed was a domestic battery in progress. The problem was no other adult was at home at the time. Rather than admit they were wrong and leave, the police ended up handcuffing and battering Mr. Phipps. His teeth were knocked out during the process. We filed federal lawsuit against the police and proceeded to jury trial. The jury found in his favor and awarded damages against all three officers, including punitive damages. The case was tried in October 2012 - Southern District of Illinois.
- Galloway v. Village of Alorton - Ms. Galloway was stopped for having a pine tree air freshener hanging from her rearview mirror. She was forcibly removed from her car and beaten by three police officers for virtually no reason. She suffered closed head injuries and received other superficial injuries to her body. We were able to settle the case for $250,000. The case was filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court. 2012.
- Reynolds v. Village of Centreville - Mr. Renolds was at a relative's bar be que. Numerous police officers pulled up on the road in front of his relative's house. They began running after him and tackled him. He was struck in the body, handcuffed and taken to the police station. The police kept him in a jail cell without charges for three days. He was released without charges. About 6 months later the police charged him for possession of cannabis and resisting arrest. We fought the criminal charges and won them all. We sued the police for a variety of torts. We eventually won judgment of $90,000 per officer and $130,000 against the Village. Case was filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court. 2012.
- Rose v. City of Madison: Our client was working as an armed security guard at a truck stop in Madison, Illinois. He had witnessed a driver being beaten by the Madison City police a few nights earlier. Our client documented the incident as required by his employer. He was falsely arrested by Madison City Police a few nights later for carrying his duty weapon. Our client had all his permits as required under Illinois law to possess the weapon. He was charged the aggravated unlawful use of weapons. We first obtained a dismissal of all felony charges, then we pursued a civil complaint against the officers and department. The jury awarded him $119,000. The police officers' attorney offered no compensation before trial.
- Doe v. City of Alton: Our client was arrested by Alton police officers after a foot chase through the woods on a hot summer night. He was handcuffed to a jail cell restraining ring. While restrained, he was TASED six times by one of the arresting officers. This was obviously inappropriate and a use of extreme force for absolutely no reason. The case settled the day before jury trial was to begin.
- Kidane v. City of Madison: Mr. Kidane was a truck driver who was wrongfully arrested and beaten by City of Madison police officers. He was detained for a misdemeanor charge that we were able to get dismissed. Our client lost his job, as his semi-tractor rig was towed and impounded. The case settled prior to jury trial.
- Galloway v. Village of Alorton: Our client was stopped for allegedly violating the obstructed windshield statute. (She had a pine tree air freshener hanging from her rear-view mirror.) Our client was violently pulled from her vehicle and beaten so severely by three purported Alorton police officers that she suffered a seizure disorder that causes her to have multiple seizures per week. She was tased and kicked in the head, losing vision in her eye for one year. Our client continues to have pain radiate down her leg where she was tased. The officers are Robert Cummings, Harry "Dink" Halter and Bryant Falconer. Robert Cummings was the police chief who is now a federally convicted felon. Harry Dink Halter is currently facing felony charges in St. Clair County for forcing a woman to submit to a sex act while he was in a police cruiser. Bryant Falconer's whereabouts are unknown. The case is set for jury trial in March 2012.
- Reynolds v. Centreville Police Department: Mr. Reynolds was at a relative's barbecue when a group of police officers swarmed the area and tackled him to the ground. Our client was beaten, had his handcuffs twisted and was held in a jail cell for three days by various police officers, though he was not charged with any offense. Six months later, he was charged with resisting arrest and possession of cannabis. We first obtained dismissals for the criminal charges. Next we filed civil suit for police brutality in St. Clair County. The case has not yet gone to jury trial.
- Doe v. Madison County Sheriff's Department: Our client was falsely arrested and held on potential felony charges for sexually assaulting his grandmother. He spent two days in the Madison County jail on a felony hold for charges he did not commit and was released after spending time in the jail. Word got out that our client had committed the crime, and as a result, his reputation has been damaged. He is seeking compensation for damages from Madison County.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation With an Edwardsville Police Brutality Attorney
Most Illinois law enforcement officers do their difficult jobs with honesty and integrity, but sometimes officers break the law in the course of their duties, causing harm to the people they are paid to protect. When this happens, a lawyer can help victims bring claims against those who have violated their civil rights. Contact us for a free consultation with a lawyer.