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ARTICLE ID 195897

$________ Civil rights – Alleged excessive use of police force by Hollywood police officers – Multiple lacerations and contusions – Emotional injuries claimed.

U.S. District Court, Southern, Florida

This was a civil rights action brought against the City of Hollywood Police Department and five of its police officers alleging excessive use of police force. The plaintiff also claimed that the police department engaged in a pattern and practice of disregarding citizen’s complaints regarding excessive use of police force. The plaintiff sought punitive as well as compensatory damages. The defendants denied the allegations, and maintained that the force used against the plaintiff was reasonable, in light of his aggression.

The plaintiff contended that in January, ________, he was posting signs for a political campaign along a Hollywood street when he witnessed a traffic stop and believed that the person stopped was a friend of his. When the plaintiff approached the defendant’s officers to ascertain if his friend was involved in the traffic stop, the plaintiff claimed that the officers tackled him, banged his head on the ground, punched him in the face and head, and kicked him.

The plaintiff, a man in his early 50’s at the time, was diagnosed with multiple lacerations, bruised ribs, and contusions as a result of the incident. He was detained in jail for a week on criminal charges, which were ultimately dismissed. The plaintiff alleged that the ordeal caused an aggravation of his preexisting bipolar disorder necessitating several hospitalizations.

The defendant argued that the plaintiff interfered with the traffic stop and was aggressive and fighting with the police officers. The defense contended that an officer placed his foot on the plaintiff to control him, but did not kick him. The officers maintained that they subdued the plaintiff with necessary force for their own protection.The case was settled prior to trial for a total of $________. The defendant made no admissions of liability in reaching the resolution.

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