If you’ve been the victim of police brutality or police negligence, there are legal remedies that allow you to seek Maryland personal injury compensation. Many victims of police violence or negligence are too scared to report the incident for fear of repercussion or because they are unaware that what happened to them was wrong. As with other negligent parties that cause injuries or deaths, law enforcement officers can be held liable for their reckless actions.
Recently, the family of Justin Lihvarcik settled its Maryland wrongful death lawsuit accusing Frederick County police of negligence. On June 10, 2009, Lihvarcik, who was 26 at the time, was placed in a holding cell at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center at around 2:30am after he was charged with second-degree assault during a dispute with his girlfriend. At around 5:30am, correctional officers found him hanging from the top bunk. He had used his shoelaces to make a noose.
In her Frederick County wrongful death complaint, Lihvarcik’s mother, Nancy Fether, accused the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office of neglect.
Following an investigation, two correctional officers were disciplined and policy changes were made so that shoelaces can no longer be taken into holding cells. Officers tasked with checking on inmates must now sign a checkoff sheet at the end of each hallway.
In other Maryland news, a Prince George’s County police brutality lawsuit was recently settled with the victim Rafel A. Rodriguez. The county agreed to pay $125,000 to the 31-year-old.
Rodriguez has accused Cpl. Scott Wilson and Cpl. John Wynkoop of committing police violence against him at College Park in 2008 and making a false arrest. The cops had detained him because they thought his vehicle had an illegal blue-tinted turn-signal light.
Video footage from a device in the vehicle captures the cops making fun of the plaintiff’s El Salvadorean accent, pulling Rodriguez out of the car, slamming him against the vehicle, cuffing him, spraying him with pepper spray, and striking him several times on the head with a baton. Even though Rodriguez didn’t try to hit the cops, they charged him with two counts of assault.
Prince George’s to pay man who accused police of assault, The Washington Post, March 12, 2010
Parties reach $50,000 settlement in hanging at jail, FrederickNewsPost, March 23, 2010
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