One of the points we speak about on this blog fairly frequently is that police officers can and do make mistakes while conducting criminal investigations. In some cases, the mistakes are a matter of not having all the information. In other cases, officers make mistakes of judgment. On occasion, officers even intentionally engage in wrongdoing.
A recent example of the fallibility of police officers can be seen in a case involving a Baltimore police officer accused of falsely arresting a man back in 2010. Though the arrest was based on loitering, the man claims that the officer made a comment to him indicating there was racial bias behind the arrest. Interestingly, the officer that made the arrest has been involved in two previous settlements involving his police work.
The recent case is unique in that plaintiffs in such cases are often assaulted and injured. In this case, though, the officer did not physically assault the man. In this case the man ended up spending 12 hours in jail and missing a day of work, and charges against him were dropped. Still, the suit settled for $200,000, a sizeable sum. The basis for that amount is that the arrest—even though it was expunged—remains in his personnel file at the Pentagon and will negatively impact his ability to find work.
It is important for those who have been subjected to false arrest or false imprisonment to work with an experienced attorney for guidance regarding their options for remedying the situation. In our next post, we’ll speak a bit more about this issue.