Monday, August 25, 2008

Police Officer Indicted in Violated Federal Civil Rights

Police Officer Wayne Simoes, of Yonkers, New York, has been indicted for lifting Irma Marquez off the floor and slamming her to the ground during a March 2008 incident at a restaurant. In the moments leading up to the assault, Marquez appears in a surveillance tape of the incident to be somewhat agitated as she tries to get a better look at the medical treatment being rendered to her niece -- the reason police were on the scene. Subsequent to being "restrained," the 44-year-old woman was charged with obstruction of governmental administration and disorderly conduct. She has since been acquitted of those charges.

Marquez suffered a broken jaw and other injuries from Simoes's attack.

Simoes appears to be just the latest cop to to not understand that police misconduct is just a little harder to get away with in the age of video recording and the Internet. If convicted, he'll have up to ten years behind bars to contemplate the changing world.

The Indictment charges SIMOES with one count of violating federal civil rights laws, which make it a crime to willfully deprive a person of rights secured and protected by the Constitution of the United States, in this case the right to be free from the use of excessive force by a law enforcement officer in the course of an arrest, stop, or seizure. If convicted, SIMOES faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Unsurprisingly. the Yonkers Police Department faces an 11-million-dollar lawsuit in the case.

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