Protestor “shoved” by NYPD officer during violent riots scores $387k settlement – and cop has to pay too

Share:

NEW YORK CITY, NY – A Brooklyn protester who was shoved by an NYPD officer during the spring 2020 protests following the death of George Floyd has settled her federal lawsuit against the city for $387,000, including an out-of-pocket $3,000 payment by the officer.

Video of Dounya Zayer being knocked to the pavement on May 29, 2020, near the Barclays Center by Officer Vincent D’Andraia went viral as the city and country experienced daily demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis.

According to the lawsuit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court:

“(Zayer) suffered and continues to suffer significant severe physical and emotional injuries, including possibly requiring surgery, disfigurement, permanent disability and inability to walk and ongoing treatment.”

When the 20-year-old fell, she struck her head on the pavement and suffered a seizure. Zayer’s attorney, Tahanie Aboushi, said the rare order for the officer to pay personally was important:

“You can never put a number on what happened, and the trauma and emotional toll it had on Dounya. It’s important that he is held accountable, and he shares some responsibility for what happened.”

Protestor "shoved" by NYPD officer during violent riots scores 7k settlement - and cop has to pay too

D’Andraia was suspended without pay after the shove and his commander was transferred to a different unit, according to the NYPD. He was also charged with third-degree assault, fourth-degree criminal mischief, second-degree harassment, and third-degree menacing.

Zayer said the officer meant to injure her when he shoved her, and that the attack happened without provocation:

“He wanted to hurt me. Without provocation, he wanted to prove a point that he could hurt me, and he did. A two-handed shove, and you could see his whole weight was in that push. I was off the ground entirely. I came out of my sneakers.

“The amount of force involved shows how much anger was involved in this assault.”

She said she was backing up from the 28-year-old officer during protests when he knocked a cellphone out of her hand and struck her without warning:

“I was not expecting to be hit at all.

“There was definitely anger in his voice when he called me what he did. The fact that he called me a name is proof his intention was there. And I’m small. He knew the size difference.”

The Queens resident filed the legal action to hold the city, the officers on the scene, and the NYPD accountable for alleged excessive force, assault, and free speech violations, according to the suit.

She claimed the officer called her a “stupid f—ing b—h,” and that other officers in the area failed to assist her:

“There was definitely anger in his voice when he called me what he did. The fact that he called me a name is proof his intention was there. And I’m small. He knew the size difference.

“Officer D’Andraia insulted me and then assaulted me. There were hundreds of officers around and not a single officer stopped to help me.”

The city refused to represent D’Andraia in the case but did have to agree on the. D’Andraia was covered by a city-financed union defense fund. Nicholas Paolucci, a city Law Department spokesperson, said the settlement “was in the best interest of all parties.”

D’Andraia’s union lawyer did not respond to a request seeking comment.

D’Andraia, pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges and is scheduled to go on trial starting March 2 in Brooklyn Criminal Court.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

Lawsuit: Democrat Oregon governor unlawfully commuting prison sentences, freeing nearly 1,000 inmates

January 22, 2022

 

PORTLAND, OR – Two Oregon district attorneys and the relatives of three homicide victims have filed a lawsuit accusing Gov. Kate Brown (D) of unlawfully freeing nearly 1,000 prisoners by granting clemency.

Gov. Brown stands accused of ignoring victim rights while granting clemency to inmates, Lane County District Attorney Patty Perlow and others argued in a legal petition filed Wednesday in Marion County Circuit Court.

The lawsuit primarily seeks to stop the early release of more than 70 people who committed crimes as juveniles, including murder, and are now eligible for parole under an executive order, and to force the Governor to follow clemency rules.

The lawsuit argues:

“Convicted criminals must initiate the process to seek forgiveness and state their case by demonstrating remorse, rehabilitation, and a desire and capability to reasonably re-enter society.”

Throughout the pandemic, the Department of Corrections provided Brown with lists of inmates who had less than six months on their sentence and met other conditions for early release.

The lists, according to the governor’s office, were designed to identify medically vulnerable inmates and move them out of congregate facilities where COVID-19 has frequently spread.

Perlow, along with Linn County DA Douglas Marteeny and four surviving victims, are asking the court to compel Brown, the Oregon Department of Corrections, the Oregon Youth Authority, and the state’s parole board to “comply with the law.”

The suit claims that the Democratic Governor failed to provide victim notification of the prisoner releases as required by clemency procedures. Monique DeSpain, a lawyer for the Kevin L. Mannix Salem-based law firm, which filed the case with Common Sense for Oregon on behalf of the plaintiffs, said:

“We are asking that the court compel the governor to follow the laws that are already in place.”

He argued that the pace of the clemencies demonstrated a disregard for sentencing laws in place:

“When they’re granted to the rate of nearly 1,000 commutations, then really it becomes a rewriting of sentencing laws.

“That is a lot of commutations that have been handed down.”

Kevin Mannix, a former chair of the Oregon Republican Party, leads both the law firm and Common Sense.

The lawsuit accuses the Governor of breaking rules requiring individual commutation applications and unlawfully delegated her responsibilities to state agencies. DA Martenny said the legal action was not personal:

“This lawsuit is not personal on my . I believe our laws put limits on (Brown’s) actions. I am working to enforce those limits.”

Gov. Brown commuted the sentences of 912 people in custody who were deemed at heightened risk of contracting COVID-19, according to a June 2021 letter she sent to state lawmakers.

Those freed were medically vulnerable, had completed at least half their sentences, and were not serving time for crimes against people.

Brown also commuted the sentences of 41 people who fought the Labor Day 2020 wildfires that scorched the state in 2020., according to the June letter, which is cited in the lawsuit.

Those released did not “present an unacceptable safety, security, or compliance risk to the community,” the letter claimed.

Aliza Kaplan, a Lewis & Clark Law School professor involved in clemency applications, said the Governor’s actions were proper:

“The law is very clear on the governor’s power to grant clemency. She’s using it in the exact way it was intended by our founders,” Kaplan said. “There’s precedent for granting group clemency. It’s unfortunate that we have to all waste our time talking about this lawsuit.

“She’s using it in the exact way it should be used. These people have been punished significantly, and even in a place like prison, they have managed to rehabilitate themselves, and the governor is offering them mercy.”

The lawsuit also addresses concerns over offenders now made eligible for commutation for violent crimes they committed as juveniles.

In 2019, Oregon passed a law eliminating life sentences without parole for youth offenders. It also allowed them another hearing to review their case after serving half their sentences.

Following the law’s passage, the Governor signed an executive order allowing it to apply retroactively to juveniles convicted between 1988 and 2019.

The move has been criticized by multiple Oregon district attorneys, who called the move dangerous and traumatizing to the victims of their crimes.

The Governor’s Office declined to comment on the pending legislation.

 

 

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!
Facebook Follow First
Share:
Submit a Correction
Related Posts