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RYDER LAW FIRM


Jesse P. Ryder, Esq.
6739 Myers Road
E. Syracuse, NY 13057
Tel: (315) 382-3617
Fax: (315) 295-2502
1CHARLES A. BONNER, ESQ. SB# 85413
Pro Hac Vice
A. CABRAL BONNER, ESQ. SB# 247528
Pro Hac Vice
LAW OFFICES OF BONNER & BONNER
475 GATE FIVE RD, SUITE 212
SAUSALITO, CA 94965
TEL: (415) 331-3070
FAX: (415) 331-2738
charles@bonnerlaw.com
cabral@bonnerlaw.com
ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFF
MAURICE CROWLEY

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CLAIM AGAINST CITY OF SYRACUSE


AND
SYRACUSE POLICE DEPARTMENT

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_________________

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MAURICE CROWLEY

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Plaintiff,

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vs.
CITY OF SYRACUSE, SYRACUSE
POLICE DEPARTMENT, POLICE
OFFICER VALLON SMITH, CHIEF OF
POLICE FRANK FOWLER, and Does 1100,

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Defendants.

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NOTICE OF CLAIM
(General Municipal Law 50-e)
1. Violation Of Civil Rights (42
U.S.C. 1983
2. Assault;
3. False Arrest;
4. False Imprisonment;
5. Intention Infliction Of Emotion
Distress;
6. Malicious Prosecution;
7. Negligent
Training,
Hiring,
Retention, And Supervision;
8. Monel Claim Against City Of
Syracuse 42 U.S.C. 1983
9. Respondeat Superior Liability Of
City Of Syracuse;
10. Punitive
Damages
Against
Individual Police Officers In Their
Individual Capacity.
11. 42 USC 1985, Conspiracy CLAIM
12. 42 USC 1986 CLAIM
13. Malicious Prosecution

MAURICE CRAWLEY CLAIM FOR DAMAGES - 1

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TO:

JURY TRIAL DEMANDED


)
)
CITY OF SYRACUSE, SYRACUSE POLICE DEPARTMENT, CHIEF OF
POLICE FRANK FOWLER, POLICE OFFICER VALLON SMITH, AND DOES
1-100.

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1.

THE NAME AND POST-OFFICE ADDRESS OF CLAIMANT:


MAURICE CROWLEY
105 Hudson Street
Syracuse, NY 13204

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2. CLAIMANTS ATTORNEYS:
RYDER LAW FIRM
Jesse P. Ryder, Esq.
6739 Myers Road
E. Syracuse, NY 13057
Tel: (315) 382-3617
Fax: (315) 295-2502
ryderlawfirm@gmail.com
2CHARLES A. BONNER, ESQ. SB# 85413
Pro Hac Vice
A. CABRAL BONNER, ESQ. SB# 247528
LAW OFFICES OF CHARLES A. BONNER
475 GATE FIVE RD, SUITE 212
SAUSALITO, CA 94965
TEL: (415) 331-3070
FAX: (415) 331-2738
charles@bonnerlaw.com
cabral@bonnerlaw.com
3. THE NATURE OF THE CLAIM
Mr. Maurice Crowleys Claims are listed as Claims 1-15, as reflected above on the Caption of
this Notice of Claim.

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4. THE TIME WHEN, THE PLACE WHERE, AND THE MANNER IN WHICH THE
CLAIM AROSE:

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See Statement of Facts Below.

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5. THE ITEMS OF DAMAGE AND INJURIES SUSTAINED:

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Claimants damages include, but are not limited to the following: anxiety, mental and emotional

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distress, humiliation, fear, discomfort, loss of enjoyment of life, inconvenience and suffering,

MAURICE CRAWLEY CLAIM FOR DAMAGES - 2

attorneys fees, loss of wages, medical bills, loss of work benefits, physical and psychic injuries,

including, but not limited to, brain damage, bruise on side of head, bruised and injured left arm,

concussion syndrome with headaches, nightmares, insomnia, and misery. The injuries, illnesses

and harms caused, and continue to cause, Claimant to seek and obtain medical treatment and

ongoing medical care for his injuries, illnesses and medical conditions, and to incur medical

expenses, caused by the Defendants, and each of them.

6. DEMAND FOR RESOLUTION OF CLAIM:

THE CONSTITUTION MATTERS

I. NON-MONETARY DEMAND

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A.

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SYRACUSE TO BECOME A MODEL CITY FOR THE:

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A CONSENT DECREE AS FOLLOWS:

POLICE OFFICERS SAFETY INITIATIVE


1. CITY AGREES THAT SPD WILL CEASE AND DESIST ALL TRAFFIC STOPS
a. Purpose:

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(1) Police Officers Safety by reducing contact with non-violent citizens

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(2) Eliminate Racial Profiling

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(3) Save Taxpayers Money

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b. New Paradigm Shift Procedure

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(1) Police Officer will Photograph License Plate of alleged violator/Registered Owner
of vehicle
(2) Mail citation to alleged violator/Registered Owner of vehicle
2. CITY AGREES THAT SPD WILL CEASE AND DESIST ALL NON-VIOLENT NON-

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VEHICLE WARRANTLESS MISDEMEANOR STOPS

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a. Purpose:

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(1) Police Officers Safety by reducing contact with non-violent citizens

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(2) Eliminate Racial Profiling

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(3) Save Taxpayers Money

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c. New Paradigm Shift Procedure

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(1) Police Officer will Photograph alleged violation and violator

(2) Obtain violators identification

(3) Mail citation to alleged violator/Registered Owner of vehicle

This is the procedure employed throughout Europe. There, no citizens are beaten, shot or

killed because a tail light is out or because they are selling CDs or cigarettes on the

street. As a country, can we do better than the status quo? We call on the District

Attorney, the Mayor, and the elected officials to implement these reasonable policy

changes forthwith. This policy discussion obviously excludes probable cause based

felonies and misdemeanors based on warrants, as well as any crime threatening public

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safety, such as driving under the influence.


3. CITY AGREES TO EMPOWER CITIZEN REVIEW BOARD

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a. Power to Participate in Hiring and Disciplining Police Misconduct

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b. Power to set Rules for Mandatory Criminal Prosecution for any Police
Officer who shoots any citizen in the back, without justification.

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c. Require Police Officers to live in the City of Syracuse

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II. MONETARY:

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A. $3,000,000 as Compensation for Deprivation of Civil Rights against Officer Vallon Smith.

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B. $3,000,000 against Each additional Defendant,

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C. Punitive Damages against Officer Vallon Smith to protect the citizens and the community

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from such illegal conduct, and to deter further Civil Rights Violations by those sworn to up hold

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the constitutional rights of all Americans.

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A. STATEMENT OF FACTS

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7. On Thursday July 28, 2016, a video-taped recording shows the following: DEFENDANT

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OFFICER VALLON SMITH carrying out a stop of a vehicle, searching the driver. OFFICER

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SMITH is dressed in police issued attire, consisting of khaki pants, police gun belt, with

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handcuffs hanging in the back, and the word POLICE written in bold white letters across his

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MAURICE CRAWLEY CLAIM FOR DAMAGES - 4

black, short-sleeved shirt. DEFENDANT OFFICER SMITH completes the vehicle stop and

search of an individual, handcuffs and escorts that person to the right side of his police vehicle,

and instructs that person to sit on the grassy median at the curb, adjacent to his vehicle.

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DEFENDANT OFFICER SMITH then opens the passenger door of his patrol car,

removes a black glove from his left hand and, while standing with the passenger door open, he

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points with his right hand, while yelling over the traffic noise of two-way passing vehicles, to

Mr. Maurice Crawley, who is sitting on his bicycle on the sidewalk, approximately 60 feet away,

directly opposite to the patrol car and OFFICER SMITH. Mr. Crawley, exercising his United

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States Constitutional Rights, and at all times is conducting himself in a lawful manner, is

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recording the arrest of the individual across the street on his cell phone, as he is wont to do in

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order to help maintain good conduct on the streets of Syracuse. DEFENDANT OFFICER

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SMITH yells: Say one word and your ass is going to jail, just so you know. To which Mr.

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Crawley replies: I did not hear you. Say it again officer. I am sorry. I didnt hear you.

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DEFENDANT OFFICER SMITH reaches for the black glove now lying on the seat, slams the

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passenger door, and walks rapidly to the front and around the patrol car, taking approximately 10

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full-stride steps, while putting on the black glove again. As he approaches the yellow double

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center-dividing lines, he orders Mr. Crawley, Come here!

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9. DEFENDANT OFFICER SMITH proceeds, walking briskly across the double yellow center

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dividing lines for an additional 10 full-stride steps, still adjusting his black gloves. Watching

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DEFENDANT OFFICER SMITH continuing to adjust his black gloves while walking rapidly

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towards him, Mr. Crawley fearfully asks again: What are you doing, Officer? I didnt hear you.

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What did you say? DEFENDANT OFFICER SMITH, as he moves close, to within

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approximately two (2) feet, of Mr. Crawley, illegally orders:

Give me your handturn

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MAURICE CRAWLEY CLAIM FOR DAMAGES - 5

around! DEFENDANT OFFICER SMITH is now reaching for and grabbing Mr. Crawley, pulls

him off his bicycle, slams him to the ground, and strikes, hits, and punches Mr. Crawley on both

sides of his head, face and body, sending Mr. Crawleys cell phone flying. WhooWhooo

Whoo! YoYoYo Mr. Crawley cries out. DEFENDANT OFFICER SMITH angrily

threatens: Dont fucking move, you understand me? Dont fucking move! I am going to fuck

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you up! Put your hand behind your back! DEFENDANT OFFICER SMITH is now pressing his

knee into Mr. Crawleys ear and face, and continues to hit him in the face, prompting Mr.

Crawley to gasp, Ive got a defibrillator in my chest, man. DEFENDANT OFFICER SMITH

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spits out, I dont give a fuck what you got! I told you to stop fucking coming around here.

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DEFENDANT OFFICER SMITH hits Mr. Crawley in excess of six or seven additional times in

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the face, head, body and lower back.

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10. Mr. Crawley is a community activist. He attends functions at schools, funerals of police

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shootings, track and field meets, churches, and other public events to help maintain the peace.

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Mr. Crawley has been associated with the community group called the OGs, Old Guys Against

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Violence, a group to help get guns off the street and promote non-violence in his Syracuse

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Community.

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POLICE OFFICER VALLON SMITHS FALSE PERJURED DEPOSITION STATEMENTS

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11. It was at this time that I observed Maurice Crawley sitting on his bicycle on the sidewalk in

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front of 127 South Ave, while utilizing his cellphone to record our stop. It should be noted that
Crawley was standing approximately twenty feet away from my location. [Emphasis
added]

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THIS IS A WILLFUL PERJURED FALSE STATEMENT.

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THE TRUE FACTS: Mr. Crawley was sitting on, straddled, his bicycle approximately 60 feet
away from OFFICER SMITH.

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PROOF TESTIMONY: Video Recording of Incident.

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MAURICE CRAWLEY CLAIM FOR DAMAGES - 6

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10. As I attempted to further conduct our drug investigation, I observed Crawley begin
to swirl his hand in a circular motion above his head."
THIS IS A WILLFUL PERJURED FALSE STATEMENT.

THE TRUE FACTS: Mr. Crawley did not swirl his hand in a circular motion above his head.
But even if Mr. Crawley had swirled his hand, he has a privileged First Amendment Right of
Freedom of Expression.

PROOF TESTIMONY: Video Recording of Incident.

11. During the felony narcotics investigation, Crawley was intentionally impairing and
preventing my ability to perform my investigation as a public servant. His (tornado) hand
gestures and his mere presence caused my attention to be diverted away from my partner
and involved parties and towards him.

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THIS IS A WILLFUL PERJURED FALSE STATEMENT.

THE TRUE FACTS: Mr. Crawley did not engage in tornado hand gestures and the video
evidence shows that OFFICER SMITH conducted a thorough full body search, between the legs
and crotch, of the drug suspect, escorted the suspect to the passenger side of the patrol vehicle,
sat the suspect on the side curb, hands cuffed behind his back, and only after completing his
arrest did his attention focus on Mr. Crawley. It was OFFICER SMITH who first initiated verbal
contact with Mr. Crawley, followed by him committing the vicious beating of Mr. Crawley.

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PROOF TESTIMONY: Video Recording of Incident.

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12. When Crawley inserted himself into our investigation to intentionally impede the
same, he divided our attention further thereby creating an increasingly dangerous situation
and potentially deadly situation to officers, citizens and himself.

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THIS IS A WILLFUL PERJURED FALSE STATEMENT.

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THE TRUE FACTS: Mr. Crawley never inserted himself into the officers investigation. The
officers attention was not diverted from their arrest. OFFICER SMITH completed his arrest of a
suspect and abandoned his partner, who was talking to a female suspect standing on the
sidewalk, and went directly to and with the intent to, and did commit an assault, battery, false
arrest of Mr. Crawley.

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PROOF TESTIMONY: Video Recording of Incident.

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13. The DEFENDANTS, and each of them, conspired, agreed, and acted in furtherance of their

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agreements to present false testimony as evidence by the false deposition testimony, as herein

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alleged. This illegal conspiracy was intended to, and did, deprive Mr. Crawley of his

constitutional rights in violation of State and Federal law.

B. FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS CLAIMS

1.

Notice of Claim (GML 50-E)

The filing of a Notice of Claim under General Municipal Law 50-e only applies to State

Law Causes of Action and those requirements are not applicable to the Plaintiff's first cause of

action asserted pursuant to 42. U.S.C. 1983 (see Felder v Casey, 487 U.S. 131; Rowe v NYCPD,

85 AD3d 1001, 1002 [2d Dept 2011]; ["[A]; notice of claim is not a condition precedent to a

cause of action, asserted pursuant to 42 USC 1983, which seeks to recover damages premised

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on violations of federal civil or constitutional rights under color of state law"];

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Federal Law 42. U.S.C. 1983 provides in pertinent part: Every person who, under color

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of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of

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Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person

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within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured

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by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity,

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or other proper proceeding for redress.

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2.

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Fourth Amendment Claim Excessive Force


The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from the governments use of excessive

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force while detaining or arresting individuals. Jones v. Parmley, 465 F.3d 46, 61 (2d Cir. 2006)

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(citing Thomas v. Roach, 165 F.3d 137, 143 (2d Cir. 1999)). When determining whether police

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officers have employed excessive force in the arrest context, the Supreme Court has instructed

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that courts should examine whether the use of force is objectively reasonable in light of the facts

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and circumstances confronting them, without regard to the officers underlying intent or

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motivation. Jones, 465 F.3d at 61 (quoting Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 397 (1989))

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(punctuation omitted). Among the most relevant facts and circumstances are (1) the severity of

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the crime allegedly committed; (2) the threat of danger to the officer and society; and (3) whether

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the suspect was resisting or attempting to evade arrest. Thomas, 165 F.3d at 143.

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Reasonableness is generally a question of fact. See McKelvie v. Cooper, 190 F.3d 58 (2d Cir.

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1999) (reversing magistrate judges grant of summary judgment to officers of Fourth

Amendment excessive force claim).

As the True Facts above prove, the force Police Officer SMITH inflicted upon Mr.

Crawley was objectively excessive and unreasonable. At all times, while Mr. Crawley was a law

abiding citizen, and was encased and enshrined in the protection of the United States

Constitution, the Police Officers engaged in the following unreasonable, excessive and illegal

force:
3. Obstructing Justice and Conspiracies to Interfere with Civil Rights

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Federal Law 42 U.S.C. 1985 states in relevant parts: [T]he party so injured or deprived

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may have an action for the recovery of damages occasioned by such injury or deprivation,

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against any one or more of the conspirators: [I]f two or more persons conspire for the purpose

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of impeding, hindering, obstructing, or defeating, in any manner, the due course of justice in any

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State or Territory, with intent to deny to any citizen the equal protection of the laws, or to injure

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him or his property for lawfully enforcing, or attempting to enforce, the right of any person, or

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class of persons, to the equal protection of the laws.

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To recover under a 1985 conspiracy claim for deprivation of civil rights, a plaintiff
must prove: "(1) a conspiracy; (2) for the purpose of depriving, either directly or indirectly, any
person or class of persons of equal protection of the laws . . .; (3) an act in furtherance of the
conspiracy; (4) whereby a person is . . . deprived of any right of a citizen of the United States."
In this case, the Claimant has alleged facts which render a civil rights conspiracy claim
plausible. Claimant alleges that Defendant police officers acted in concert to coerce and fabricate

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statements and conceal exculpatory evidence. They allege that the fabrication of Defendants

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statements was an overt act in furtherance of this conspiracy, as were the subsequent acts of

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concealing the fabrication and withholding evidence.

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4. Constitutional Violation: False Depositions and Credibility of the Police Officers

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OFFICER SMITHS following false testimony deprived Mr. Crawley of his liberty, due

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process and property which are guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment:

It should be noted that Crawley was standing approximately twenty feet away from my

location.

During the felony narcotics investigation, Crawley was intentionally impairing and

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preventing my ability to perform my investigation as a public servant. His (tornado) hand

gestures and his mere presence caused my attention to be diverted away from my partner

and involved parties and towards him.

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When Crawley inserted himself into our investigation to intentionally impede the same, he

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divided our attention further thereby creating an increasingly dangerous situation and

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potentially deadly situation to officers, citizens and himself.

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5. Defendant Chief Frank Fowler Liability for Neglect to Prevent Violation of Constitutional

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Rights

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42 U.S. Code 1986 provides: Every person who, having knowledge that any of the

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wrongs conspired to be done, and mentioned in section 1985 of this title, are about to be

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committed, and having power to prevent or aid in preventing the commission of the same,

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neglects or refuses so to do, if such wrongful act be committed, shall be liable to the party

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injured, or his legal representatives, for all damages caused by such wrongful act, which such

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person by reasonable diligence could have prevented. 42 U.S. Code 1986.

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Chief Fowler at all relevant times knew that OFFICER SMITH was filing a false

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Deposition, covering up and fictionalizing the true facts in order to attempt to exonerate himself

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and fellow police officers and convict an innocent American Citizen. He reviewed the

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depositions of Officer Smith and his partner and was aware of the clear and plain material willful

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variations in the officers testimony compared to each other, and compared to the video tape

recording of the incident. Defendant Chief Fowler, after viewing the video tape recording of the

incident, still allowed Officer Smith to make a false sworn deposition calculated to further

deprive Mr. Crawley of his constitutional rights. Defendant Chief Fowler had a duty to prevent

and had the power, ability and authority to prevent the deprivation of Mr. Crawleys

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constitutional rights and willfully failed to discharge his duty to prevent the deprivation of Mr.
Crawleys constitutional rights.
6.

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Mr. Crawley alleges that Defendant Police Officer Smith violated his Fourth Amendment
rights by subjecting him to an unreasonable search and seizure of his person and the loss of
his physical liberty. The elements of a Fourth Amendment false arrest claim under 42 U.S.C.
1983 are the same as those for a false arrest claim under New York law. Kraft v. City of New
York, 696 F. Supp. 2d 403, (S.D.N.Y. 2010). To state a claim for false arrest under New York
law, a plaintiff must show that (1) the defendant intended to confine the plaintiff; (2) the plaintiff
was conscious of the confinement; (3) the plaintiff did not consent to the confinement; and (4)
the confinement was not otherwise privileged. Savino v. City of New York, 331 F.3d 63, 75 (2d
Cir.2003) Where an officer has probable cause to arrest a plaintiff, the confinement is privileged.
Id. at 76. The burden of showing that there was probable cause for the arrest is on the officer. Id.

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False Arrest Claim

The evidence proves by the requisite preponderance standard that Police Officer Smith
made a false arrest of Mr. Crawley by confining him in the street, and at the jail and at all times
until his release. Mr. Crawley was at all times conscious of his unprivileged and humiliating
confinement to which he did not consent. Defendants, and each of them, are liable for Mr.
Crawleys damages.
7.

Qualified Immunity No Defense


Defendants might argue that even if the court finds that Defendants Officer Smith and

Chief Fowler guilty, they are entitled to qualified immunity. The qualified immunity inquiry

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generally involves two issues: (1) "whether the facts, viewed in the light most favorable to the

plaintiff, establish a constitutional violation"; and (2) "whether it would be clear to a reasonable

officer that his conduct was unlawful in the situation confronted." Sira v. Morton, 380 F.3d 57,

68-69 (2d Cir. 2004) accord, Higazy v. Templeton, 505 F.3d 161, 169, n.8 (2d Cir. 2007)

In determining the second issue (i.e., whether it would be clear to a reasonable officer

that his conduct was unlawful in the situation confronted), courts in the Second Circuit consider

three factors: (1) whether the right in question was defined with 'reasonable specificity'; (2)

whether the decisional law of the Supreme Court and the applicable circuit court support the

existence of the right in question; and (3) whether under preexisting law a reasonable defendant

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official would have understood that his or her acts were unlawful. Jermosen v. Smith, 945 F.2d

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547, 550 (2d Cir. 1991) cert. denied, 503 U.S. 962 (1992).

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In the excessive force context the question for the purposes of qualified immunity is

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whether a reasonable officer could have believed that the use of force was objectively reasonable

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in light of the circumstances. Lennon v. Miller, 66 F.3d 416, 425 (2d Cir. 1995). In excessive

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force cases, then, the analysis converge[s] on one question: Whether in the particular

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circumstances faced by the officer, a reasonable officer would believe that the force employed

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would be lawful. Cowan v. Breen, 352 F.3d 756, 764 n.7 (2d Cir. 2003)

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Police Officer Smith and Chief Fowler were not presented with any facts, events or

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circumstances to lead either of them to reasonably believe that viciously beating a citizen, who

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was lawfully exercising his constitutional rights and at all times abiding by all laws, was a lawful

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use of force. As Police Officers sworn to uphold the laws of the United States of America,

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Officer Smith and Chief Fowler are presumed to know the limits of lawful force under the Fourth

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Amendment of the Constitution. These officers willfully, knowingly and with a conscious

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disregard of Mr. Crawleys health, safety, and rights violated Mr. Crawleys Fourth Amendment

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Rights against unreasonable seizures. They committed a false arrest upon Mr. Crawley, and

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willfully filed false depositions to cover up Officer Smiths illegal excessive force.

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8. Monel Claim: City of Syracuses Liability for Excessive Force and False Arrest

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Plaintiff claims that the City of Syracuse is liable for any constitutional torts committed

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by the individual Defendants because it maintained a custom, policy and pattern and practice of

failing to exercise reasonable care in training, supervising and hiring its officers. Claimant

further alleges that this custom, policy pattern and practice of inaction caused a deprivation of

Mr. Crawleys constitutional rights.

Under Monel, local governments and their agencies can be sued as "persons" under

1983 and may be liable where a government policy or custom gives rise to a constitutional

deprivation. A "custom" does not require official sanction; instead, a custom "may fairly subject

a municipality to liability on the theory that the relevant practice is so widespread as to have the

force of law." Board of County Comm'rs v. Brown, 520 U.S. 397, 404, 117 S. Ct. 1382, 137 L.

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Ed. 2d 626 (1997) [88] (citations omitted). To make a claim for municipal liability, it is not

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sufficient to allege merely conduct attributable to the municipality. Id. "A plaintiff must show

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that the municipal action was taken with the requisite degree of culpability and must demonstrate

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a direct causal link between the municipal action and the deprivation of federal rights." Id. Thus,

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the elements of a Monel claim include: 1) an official policy or custom that, 2) causes the plaintiff

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to be subjected to, 3) a deprivation of a constitutional right. Batista v. Rodriguez, 702 F.2d 393,

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397 (2d Cir. 1987). A City may not be held liable for the actions of its employees or agents under

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a theory of respondeat superior. Id. at 397.

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An official policy or custom can be shown in several ways: (1) a formal policy

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officially endorsed by the municipality; (2) actions taken by government officials responsible for

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establishing municipal policies related to the particular deprivation in question; (3) a practice so

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consistent and widespread that it constitutes a custom or usage sufficient to impute constructive

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knowledge of the practice to policymaking officials; and (4) a failure by policymakers to train or

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supervise subordinates to such an extent that it amounts to deliberate indifference to the rights of

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those who come in contact with the municipal employees. Dorsett-Felicelli v. Cnty of Clinton,

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371 F. Supp. 2d 183, 194 (N.D.N.Y. 2005) (citing Monell, 436 U.S at 690, Pembaur v. City of

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Cincinnati, 475 U.S. 469, 483-84 (1986), and City of Canton v. Harris, 489 U.S. 378, 388

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(1989)).

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The record of this case, based on investigation, research, other complaints to the Syracuse

Police Citizen Board, Police Records, News Paper Reports of Claims of excessive force and false

arrests of citizens by the City of Syracuse shows a pattern, practice, custom and policy by Chief

of Police Frank Fowler of failing to respect, uphold and enforce the constitutional rights of the

citizens of the City of Syracuse. Defendant Chief of Police Frank Fowlers failure to discipline,

train and supervise the police officers under his command has resulted in the assault and battery,

false arrest and civil rights violations of Mr. Crawley and many, many other law-abiding citizens

of Syracuse.

Chief Fowlers inactions, resulting in a policy of inaction, a policy of lack of supervision,

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and a policy of lack of training police officers in how to protect the constitutional rights of

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citizens was a direct and proximate cause of the violation of Mr. Crawleys Constitutional Rights

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as stated herein. Chief Fowlers policy, custom and practice of inaction, lack of discipline and

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lack of training of his officers led one Police Officer to declare during the vicious beating of an

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unarmed, 20 year old college student without any prior criminal record, that: We police can do

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what the Fuck we want to do!. This officer, along with his fellow officers, then beat, struck, and

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punched this young man in the back, stomach, and head, then dragged this unfortunate college

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student by his legs on the pavement, scraping and bruising his face bloody. This young man is

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Elijah Johnson who alleges that the Syracuse police beat him and used racial slurs when they

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arrested him after a party on University Hill. Chief Fowler and Sgt. Novitskys ratification of the

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police officers misconduct is also a pattern, practice and custom and unwritten policy in the

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Syracuse Police Department.

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9. Evidence of a Policy and Custom and Practice of the Use of Police Excessive Force

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On or about June 23, 2010, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner refused to sign and approve

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a coveted award for a veteran Syracuse officer. Miner did not sign the commendation for

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Detective Al Llukaci to receive the Wallie Howard Jr. Award for his undercover work on drug

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investigations. Mayor Miner cited a federal court jury verdict in December in which a jury found

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that Llukaci used excessive force against suspect John R. Kelly in a 2001 drug and assault case.

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In August 2014, Ms. Louise Thompson, 76, said that Syracuse police officers handcuffed

her and charged her with resisting arrest earlier that month when she tried to talk to them during

a dispute between her daughter, who is disabled, and a neighbor. "Seventy-six years old I am,

never had a problem like that,'' Thompson said. "But they manhandled me.''

Rev. L. Micah O. Dexter II, pastor of Greater New Salem Missionary Baptist Church on

South Avenue, said he and his wife were roughed up by police in January, 2014, after calling to

report two suspicious people on their property. The police ignored Rev. Dexters complaint about

the trespassers, instead began handcuffing the Rev. and Mrs. Dexter and placing them under

arrest. Rev. Dexter stated: "The officer . . . immediately grabs me and throws me against the

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intruders' car, handcuffs me and says, 'This is compliments of (Police Chief) Frank Fowler and

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(Mayor) Stephanie Miner.''

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Syracuse police tased Mr. Brad Hulett, a disabled man, multiple times for standing on a

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bus, when he was unable to sit due to his disability. A Syracuse Police Officer pulled up the

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disabled mans shirt and used the taser on the mans naked skin. Police also broke Mr. Huletts

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hip in the process of the arrest.

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These are only a few cases of excessive force from a long list of other similar cases,

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providing evidence that the policy maker, Chief of Police Officer Frank Fowler, maintains an

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official policy, pattern, practice or custom of the City of Syracuse which led to the deprivation of

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Mr. Crawleys constitutional rights. Therefore, Defendants Chief Fowler and the City of

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Syracuse are liable to Mr. Crawley for directly and proximately causing violations of his United

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States Constitutional Rights and resulting in economic and non-economic damages.

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C. STATE LAW CLAIMS

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10. False Imprisonment


Mr. Crawley alleges that Defendants Police Officer falsely imprisoned him.

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11.

Assault

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Mr. Crawley alleges that Defendants Police Officer SMITH assaulted him. [T]he test

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for whether a plaintiff can maintain . . . a cause of action against law enforcement officials [for

MAURICE CRAWLEY CLAIM FOR DAMAGES - 15

assault and battery] is whether the force used was reasonable, the exact same test as the one

used to analyze a Fourth Amendment excessive force claim. Hogan v. Franco, 896 F. Supp.

1313, 1315 n.2 (N.D.N.Y. 1995). Here, as discussed above, there is a triable issue of fact as to

whether Defendant SMITH used reasonable force. Thus, the undisputed facts raise a triable issue

of fact that Defendant SMITH assaulted Claimant. For these reasons, as to Claimants

constitutional excessive force claim, a court will not and cannot find as a matter of law that

Defendants SMITH is entitled to qualified immunity. Jones, 465 F.3d at 63.

12. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Under New York law, "To prevail on a cause of action for intentional infliction of

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emotional distress, a plaintiff must prove four elements: (1) extreme and outrageous conduct; (2)

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intent to cause, or disregard for the substantial probability of causing, severe emotional distress;

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(3) a causal [99] connection between the conduct and the injury; and (4) severe emotional

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distress." Marmelstein v. Kehillat New Hempstead, 45 A.D.3d 33, 841 N.Y.S.2d 493, 499 (2007).

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13. 1983 Malicious Prosecution Claims

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"A plaintiff alleging the constitutional tort of malicious prosecution in an action pursuant

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to 1983 must establish A termination of the prosecution in his favor in accordance with

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applicable state law." Link to the text of the note Hygh v. Jacobs, 961 F.2d 359, 367-68 (2d Cir.

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1992) (emphasis added); see also, Pinaud v. County of Suffolk, 52 F.3d 1139 (2d Cir. 1995) not

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"New York law does not require a malicious prosecution plaintiff to prove his innocence, or even

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that the termination of the criminal proceeding was indicative of innocence." Rothstein v.

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Carriere, 373 F.3d 275, 286 (2d Cir. 2004). Rather, the law in New York could not be clearer:

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"[A]ny termination of a criminal prosecution, such that the criminal charges may not be brought

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again, qualifies as a favorable termination, so long as the circumstances surrounding the

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termination are not inconsistent with the innocence of the accused." Cantolino v. Danner, 96

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N.Y.2d 391, 395, 754 N.E.2d 164, 729 N.Y.S.2d 405 (2001).

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Under these circumstances, it would appear that the termination of criminal proceedings

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against Plaintiffs was "not inconsistent" with [79] innocence. See Janovic v. City of New York,

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No. 04 Civ. 8437, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59165, 2006 WL 2411541, at *10 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 17,

MAURICE CRAWLEY CLAIM FOR DAMAGES - 16

2006) A subsequent dismissal with prejudice in the interests of justice is fully 'consistent with

innocence.'". In a 1983 malicious prosecution claim, the presumption of probable cause is

likewise analyzed in accordance with state law. Boyd v. City of New York, 336 F.3d 72, 75 (2d

Cir. 2003) ("[T]he analysis of the state and the federal claims is identical.") "Under New York

law, even when probable cause is present at the time of arrest, evidence could later surface which

would eliminate that probable cause." Lowth v. Town of Cheektowaga, 82 F.3d 563, 572 (2d Cir.

1996). Moreover, in New York, a conviction ultimately upset is accorded only the force of prima

facie evidence of probable cause; this evidence can be surmounted in a suit [80] for malicious

prosecution if the plaintiff can show that the judgment was obtained by fraudulent or otherwise

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undue means. Williams v. City of New York, 508 F.2d 356, 359-60 (1974).

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Mr. Crawley alleges that Defendants, and each of them, suppressed exculpatory evidence,

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fabricated statements, and failed to adequately investigate evidence of innocence. The

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prosecution pressed against Mr. Crawley is procured by fraudulent and coercive conduct by

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Officer SMITH by filing false depositions, and ignoring eye witness statements at the scene.

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These claims are sufficient to put each Defendant on notice of what they allegedly did or did not

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do. Mr. Crawley alleges that Defendant Police Officer SMITH, acted with malice under New

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York law because he "commenced the criminal proceeding due to a wrong or improper motive,

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something other than a desire to see the ends of justice served." Lowth, 82 F.3d at 573. Thus Mr.

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Crawley is entitled to relief and to all of his damages against all Defendants.

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14. Respondeat Superior

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Mr. Crawley claims that the City of Syracuse is liable under the theory of Respondeat

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Superior for Defendants SMITHs assault on Claimant. Cities may be held vicariously liable for

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state law torts committed by police officers under a theory of respondeat superior. See Williams

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v. City of White Plains, 718 F. Supp. 2d 374, 381 (S.D.N.Y. 2010). Therefore, the respondeat

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superior claim against the City of Syracuse regarding Defendant SMITH is a valid claim,

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establishing liability against the City of Syracuse.

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15. Punitive Damages

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MAURICE CRAWLEY CLAIM FOR DAMAGES - 17

1
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Mr. Crawley seeks punitive damages for the protection of the community against
Defendant Officer SMITH.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

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1.

For special and economic damages, including lost wages, for all Claims

2.

For general and non-economic damages for all Causes of Action;

3.

For punitive damages for all Claims Against Officer SMITH;

4.

For prejudgment interest at the prevailing legal rate;

5.

For costs of the suit including reasonable attorneys fees; and

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6.

For such other and further relief, including injunctive relief, as the Court may

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deem proper.

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3Dated: October 3, 2016

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED,
LAW OFFICES OF BONNER & BONNER

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/s/Charles A. Bonner
Charles A. Bonner
Attorney for
Mr. Maurice Crawley
Pro Hac Vice
RYDER LAW FIRM

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/s/Jesse P. Ryder
Jesse P. Ryder, Esq
Attorney for
Mr. and Mrs. Grant

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