Stop & Frisk | NYC Personal Injury Attorney


In 2009 there were approximately 575,000 “Stop & Frisk” reports filed by NYPD officers. Of these, only about 6% resulted in arrests, and another 6% resulted in a summons being issued. The position of the Police Department is that Stop & Frisks are an effective crime-fighting tool.  The Department holds onto the information it gathers in each Stop & Frisk “indefinitely,” with the intention of using that information, if necessary, in future investigations. Between 2004 and 2009 there were 2,798,461 “Stops” by the police, and 2,467,160 resulted in no action at all, yet each person stopped has a record with personal information on file with the police.

Certain members of the New York City Council have demanded that all the individuals, in instances where either no action was taken at the time of the “Stop”, or where action may have been taken but the person was later found “not guilty”, or was exonerated in some other way, be removed entirely from this database.  The majority of individuals affected are minorities (Black and Latino).

The final outcome of this tug of war between the New York City Police Department and the City Council has yet to be determined.  I will note, personally, as a former New York City council member, that it is my belief that any recalcitrance by the Police Department can be overcome by the City Council through the passage of legislation, if that is truly the Council’s desire.


Police Misconduct | School Safety Officers


In 1998 the New York City Police Department assumed direct responsibility for safety in the New York City public school system. While there are some police officers assigned to schools, the overwhelming number of Police Department personnel assigned to the public schools, for the purpose of maintaining a safe environment, are civilian employees of the Police Department known as “School Safety Officers.” School safety officers have the authority to stop and frisk students as well as question, search and even arrest students. Of singular note is that school administrators have no authority at all over the school safety officers in their school !

School safety officers receive 14 weeks of training before they are sent to their school assignment. A NYC police officer goes through a six month training course. Is it any wonder that the actions of many school safety officers often defy reason. It was the persistent and blatant disregard for the appropriate guidelines, leading to unlawful arrests and other abusive activity, that prompted the American Civil Liberties Union, together with the NY Civil Liberties Union, to bring a federal civil action calling for a drastic change in procedures. The ACLU stated that “Despite mounting evidence of systemic misconduct by police personnel in the schools, the NYPD refuses to even acknowledge any problems with its school policing practices.”

School Safety Officers have routinely broken school policing rules, used unwarranted excessive force, and have violated other school safety regulations and procedures.

According to the New York Daily News (January 21, 2010, page 26) the City of New York averaged 500 complaints against school safety personnel between the years 2002 to 2007. In 2008 that number jumped, according to the News, to 1159.School based personnel are subject to virtually the same rules, regulations and laws as would any other police personnel on the street, in dealing with the public. In fact, the population with which school safety personnel are dealing is entitled to extra consideration, not less, because they are, invariably, minors. Any act or behavior on the part of school safety personnel that deviates from acceptable norms and standards is, and should be, the subject not only of disciplinary action within the police department, but the party harmed should seriously consider a civil lawsuit for actions that are truly outrageous and unacceptable.

If contemplating a lawsuit, the injured party should not only seek a competent Personal Injury Attorney, but look specifically for one well versed in the area of police misconduct and abuse, including cases involving excessive force and false arrest.

Federal class-action lawsuit charges school safety officers subjected kids to ‘excessive force’

Read an article from the New York Daily News titled ” Federal class-action lawsuit charges school safety officers subjected kids to ‘excessive force”‘ by CLICKING HERE


Off-Duty NYPD Officer Racially Profiled, Hit, & Harassed by Bronx Police Officers | New York Personal Injury Attorney

On the evening of December 26th, 2009 off-duty Sergeant Reginald McReynolds of the NYPD was taking dinner to his girlfriends apartment when a pair of Bronx Police Officers stopped him.

Sgt. McReynolds claims that he was thrown around and racially profiled for being black by overly aggressive officers Officers Kyle Bach and Joseph Azevedo of the 52nd Precinct.

“I was minding my business,” McReynolds told the Daily News. “I can think of no other reason for being stopped but my skin color.”

“This incident has opened my eyes,” added McReynolds. McReynolds audits crime statistics and is assigned to the Quality Assurance Division.

Bach “came right up in my face and said, ‘What f—— apartment are you going to?'”
“He took out his penlight and shined it right in my eyes blinding me,” McReynolds said. “I let him know I’m on the job and was looking for my wallet and he struck me in the neck with his [baton].”

“[Bach] said to me, ‘I’m gonna take your pension today,'” McReynolds said.

Officers Azevedo and Bach were called to the building regarding a domestic violence dispute. They claim they believed Sgt. McReynolds to be the boyfriend of the woman involved with the domestic dispute. This claim seems suspect because Sgt. McReynolds is 42 years old and weighs 275lbs while the suspect is in his late 20’s and weighs around 150lbs.

“There’s no way in the world I fit the description of that guy,” he said.

McReynolds has now been charged with pushing Officer Azevedo, manipulating his girlfriend into saying he was being assaulted, and resisting the cops. He has served the people of New York for 19 years and has never gotten a civilian complaint or a command discipline. If you or anyone you know has been a victim of racial profiling contact one of our New York Personal Injury Attorneys at Orlow, Orlow, & Orlow.

Source: NY Daily News


Disgraced Chicago Police officer stands Trial

Official proceedings to remove Anthony Abbate from the Chicago Police Department began this week.

On Monday, Novermber 16, city attorneys aired lengthy recordings to highlight how the events unfolded at Jesse’s Short Stop Inn on the afternoon and evening of Feb. 19, 2007. During two visits to the Northwest Side bar, Abbate consumed large quantities of alcohol and continuously harassed and physically abused the bartender, Karolina Obrycka, and patrons according to the attorneys and the charges filed against him by Police Superintendent Jody Weis. Tuesdays proceedings started with the airing of a 30 minutes video showing the officer showboating and harassing patrons of a Northwest Side bar before he turns on the bartender, beating and kicking her Abbate was already convicted in criminal court for the felony aggravated battery of Obrycka and now faces dismissal from the department before the Chicago Police Board.

He continuiously invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination at least 75 times during questioning by city attorney Anna L. D’Ascenzo,

who repeatedly asked Abbate to identify himself on the recording. Obrycka took the stand and watched the video that shows her being punched, beaten, pushed and yanked by the hair by the 13-year officer. “I heard him say, ‘Nobody will tell me what to do,’ ” Obrycka said. “I believe the only thing I said…I said, ‘Stop.’ “Michael Malatesta, Abbate’s attorney, called the hearing a formality, considering that Abbate cannot serve as a police officer with a felony conviction. “There is no getting around it,” he said.

As one of a handful of law firms in New York City representing victims of police misconduct, The Orlow Firm has extensive experience helping victims of:

* Police Brutality and Prison Guard Abuse

* False Arrest

* All other types of police misconduct.

Many complaints of police misconduct are ignored.

They are frequently brushed off as if the person must be lying or somehow deserves his or her fate by having been involved with the police in the first place. If you are a victim of police misconduct, it’s important to contact a lawyer immediately. You may only have ninety days to file an action against the police department.



Police Frame Woman For Drunk Driving In Florida

False Arrest and Police Misconduct in New York happen way too often and are on the rise. Sometimes the incidents, even when caught on video, can leave room for doubt. However the latest Police Corruption and Misconduct case in Florida show some egregious acts.

Four Hollywood Police Officers are caught on tape framing a woman for drunk driving. After an officer failed to stop before rear ending the woman, they tried to cover it up.

As Reported by Janie Smith of NBC

Throughout the tape, the cops acknowledged what they are doing is illegal, but when you are the law, there is nothing wrong with bending it for a fellow cop, one says. “I don’t lie and make things up ever because it’s wrong, but if I need to bend it a little bit to protect a cop, I’ll do it,” Pressley tells Francisco after reassuring him no one will ever find out. “She’s freaking hammered anyway.”

Now, not only are the police under intense scrutiny, every single DUI arrest by the officers is under scrutiny.




A prominent African-American Harvard professor is arrested by a police sergeant in Massachusetts.   The President comments about the arrest, and the nation is riveted by the issue for the following several days.  Truth be told, people are arrested for “disorderly conduct” in every city in the nation , every day of the year.  The single most valuable statement made by the President with respect to this incident is that it offers all of us a “teachable moment”.
For those of us dealing with Police Misconduct on a daily basis, the circumstances of this case are exceedingly familiar.   Several valid points can be made with respect to this type of an arrest:
— Police will often take offense at conduct that they deem disrespectful toward themselves.  Cooperate fully, or suffer the consequences, is a widespread rule among police.
— Depending on the amount of emotion involved, and in the absence of any actual crime being committed, an officer may choose to “have the last laugh” and place the person annoying him under arrest, usually for Disorderly Conduct.  This, at the least, results in handcuffing and a visit to the police station.
—This happens to  whites, blacks and Latinos.  However, it is incontrovertible that vastly more minorities are both stopped and interrogated, leading to many more opportunities for “confrontations” to occur, which in turn leads to many more “Disorderly Conduct” arrests among minorities.
— The history of police-minority relations, especially between police and African Americans, cannot be erased from the collective memory of those who have suffered, and from their descendants who have heard the stories of their forebears’ experiences.   It stands to reason that such collective memory will influence the perceptions concerning police actions.


Police Misconduct Part 3 – Inadequate Training

Too often we forget that police officers are human beings like each one of us.   They have the same emotions and concerns that affect each of us in our daily lives.   The difference is that they often face truly dangerous situations that have potentially deadly consequences.   They have a sense of real fear, as any of us would have, in dangerous situations.

Have you seen the average police officer?   More often than not, and unlike your average firefighter, their physical fitness leaves much to be desired.   In reality, the lack of physical fitness is simply symptomatic of the overall lack of training needed to face potential life threatening situations–situations that threaten BOTH the life of the officer AND the life of their potential target.  New York City police officers may not be United States Marines, but that is little excuse for not being trained on a continuing basis, throughout their careers, to keep them able to face the most dire of situations.

How often do we hear about the shooting of an individual when we say to ourselves “was that shooting really necessary?”   While we certainly do not want police officers to place their own lives in imminent danger of serious physical harm or even death, resort to the use of the police revolver seems too quick, too often.   Perhaps one answer would be equipping officers with tasers.   Better to stun an individual brandishing a knife or other weapon (other than a gun), than to shoot that individual.   Most importantly, train the officers in avoiding the use of the gun other than as a very last resort.   Train officers in methods of protecting themselves so that in a confrontation, they can feel themselves in less physical danger.

More than any other factor, the most serious physical injuries upon individuals occurs when police officers, understandably, feel themselves the most threatened.   It is the obligation of the police department hierarchy to recognize that this is, indeed, a situation that can be severely ameliorated through the institution of intensive, continuous and effective training.

Posted by Injury Attorney Steve Orlow

Part 1 – Keystone Kop Part 2 – Police Arrogance, Rage


Police Misconduct Part 1 – Keystone Kop

What is “Police Misconduct”?

How Do We Define What Constitutes “Police Misconduct”?

There are, essentially, three categories of “Police Misconduct”.  What follows is a three part series of each of  these  categories.

Part 1 –  “Keystone Kops” Situation:

This is a situation where, through either carelessness or neglect, officers will perform legitimate  police  functions, but do so in a way that is faulty.

Perhaps the simplest example is where officers enter (or “raid”) the wrong house  or apartment.   We have actually had a case where the police, intending to execute a perfectly legal search warrant for Apartment 1A, mistakenly enter Apartment 2A.   What compounds the error is that  upon entering the “suspect” apartment, the officers perform otherwise proper police procedures upon the occupants.   In this particular instance, the occupants were a husband and wife in their 80’s, who were made to lie on the floor–and had their hands handcuffed behind their backs !!  This, after a dozen or so heavily armed police officers in full armored gear, had just invaded their apartment. When the mistake in the choice of apartment became  known, there was little the police could do to erase the fear, anxiety and sheer terror this elderly couple had experienced.

This couple sought legal assistance and was in a position to be compensated for this terrifying experience.

Part 2 Police Arrogance – Rage Part 3 – Inadequate Training


Police Brutality & Excessive Force

What, exactly, is “police brutality”?  When can you bring a lawsuit for “police brutality”?

It is often the case that when a person is arrested police officers use varying amounts of physical force to restrain the person arrested.  Guidelines issued to virtually all police allow different amounts of force under different situations.  Generally speaking, an arrest should be accomplished without harm, if possible, to the person arrested.  If, however, there is a “reasonable” belief that the person to be arrested is about to harm the police officer making or assisting in the arrest, or harm some bystander, or may even cause serious injury to himself, then the officer or officers can use an “appropriate” amount of force to avoid or mitigate such an outcome.

Any force used in excess of that amount of force deemed “reasonable” under the particular circumstances of a situation is called “excessive force”.  “Excessive Force” can be the basis of a lawsuit.

It is very important to realize that a person may have a valid lawsuit for “Excessive Force” even though the arrest was perfectly legal.  The issue of whether a “false arrest” was involved is a separate issue entirely!  The issue of whether there was “excessive force” used by a police officer can be considered whether or not the arrest itself is later determined to be legal.  Likewise, even if excessive force was used, that does not make an otherwise legal arrest illegal.

And who decides whether the force used in an arrest was reasonable or not, and therefore “excessive” or not?  Ultimately it is the “finder of fact” – either judge or jury, depending on the circumstances.   Often, with the availability of witnesses, or nowadays, videos, or just through the severity of the injury sustained by the person arrested, the answer as to “reasonableness” becomes clear.

This is certainly an area that requires an attorney with extensive “Police Misconduct” experience since the line between “reasonable” and “excessive” force can be a very fine distinction.