Veteran police officer files defamation lawsuit after citizens accuse him of ‘white supremacy’ for flashing ‘ok’ sign

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CINCINNATI, OH– Back in early July, a veteran Cincinnati police officer filed a lawsuit against several citizens accusing them of defamation. 

According to Local 12, several citizens have accused the veteran officer of being associated with white supremacy or of being racist, after seeing a video and picture of him allegedly flashing the “ok” sign at a City Council meeting back in June.

The City Council meeting was being held to address concerns by those in the Black Lives Matter movement. The citizens that are claiming these allegations against the veteran officer posted about it all over social media, which is what led him to file the lawsuit.

According to documents, the veteran officer’s lawyers were able to get the records sealed and his name replaced by a pseudonym, but the court hearings will still be open to the public.

The officer’s lawyers also argued that some of the citizens wrote online that they knew where the officer lived.  They said that it could lead to them releasing personal information that could lead to harassment at the officer’s home, otherwise known as “doxing.”

Erik Laursen is the attorney representing Julie Niesen, who originally spotted the video and picture of the veteran officer. After seeing those, she proceeded to look up the officer’s performance record, and posted those details online. Niesen claims that the filed lawsuit threatens her First Amendment rights.

Laursen said in a statement:

“No one wants to put an officer in jeopardy. They have a dangerous job.”

Laursen went on to say:

“But we also have to remember that in America, we have this First Amendment, we have the right to speak out.”

Hamilton County Common Please Judge Megan Shanahan, ruled that the veteran officer’s name, personal information, and work history will all be sealed in his records. 

Judge Shanahan also did not force the defendants to remove the original posts, or prohibit them from posting future opinions, which was a concern raised by the officer’s lawyers. In her ruling on July 31st, she cited the First Amendment.

The veteran officer’s lawyers said in a statement:

“The defendants in this case thought they could threaten and attack this police officer without consequences. They were wrong. Judge Shanahan made the right decision to protect this officer and his family and preserve their privacy. Her ruling will prohibit the dissemination of the officer’s personal identifying information.”

Their statement continued:

“We have the highest respect for Judge Shanahan and the difficult job she has, especially with respect to next hearing which will future address the vile, unjustified smears made against this police officer. We are confident we will be able to prove what these defendants did is not entitle to First Amendment protection.”

The president of Cincinnati’s branch of the Fraternal Order of Police said that the local police union is not directly involved in the lawsuit. However, he did strongly encourage officers to stand up for themselves in court if they do feel wronged.

He said in a statement:

“We certainly are not at war. We are doing everything we can to serve the community, but there are people who are at war with us. And we do need to defend ourselves in the legal by the legal means afforded to everybody else.”

He continued:

“So yes, I want to be more proactive. It is in our best interests to be more proactive when there are people trying to tear us down.”

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Here is another article from Law Enforcement Today on an NYPD detective that filed a lawsuit against a protester that assaulted him:

New York, NY – At approximately 11:00 PM on June 1st, NYPD Detective Joseph Nicolosi allegedly spotted 19-year-old Juan Rivera trespassing inside a closed CVS on 5th Avenue near the Empire State Building.

As the detective tried to apprehend Rivera, police say he resisted, resulting in wounds and injuries being sustained by the 17-year veteran of the department. And now he is suing. 

New York Daily News reports

“Nicolosi suffered cuts, bruises and a sprained knee requiring ongoing medical treatment, according to the suit filed Saturday in Manhattan Supreme Court.”

That same court filing also states that “Nicolosi was further traumatized by the incident and continues to suffer pain, soreness, discomfort, sleeplessness and agitation,” according to NBC New York

While Nicolosi’s suit is the first to be filed against a rioter, it certainly won’t be the last says Paul DiGiacomo, president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, speaking with Fox News.

“If you assault a New York City Detective and there are no consequences from the criminal justice system, we have to have other means to protect our detectives.” he stated.

“It’s heart-wrenching because they are out there doing a job under very difficult circumstances, trying to protect the innocent people that are protesting while the criminal element is within that group, assaulting, looting and victimizing not only police officers and detectives out there, but also the people of the city.” 

The Detectives’ Endowment Association has represented roughly 19,000 current and former detectives. They have vowed to sue any protestor, rioter or looter who attacked its members.

“They’ve had urine thrown at them, rocks thrown at them, shot at, assaulted. I don’t know how much more they could take a day of putting up with a lot out there. And, you know, they are the finest in the world and they are doing a fabulous job, but they are being demonized by the elected officials,” DiGiacomo said.

But not everyone is in favor of the lawsuits. 

“This is not a new tactic by the police. This was tried back in the 1990s in New York City, at another time when there was a great deal of unrest and ultimately, it didn’t work,” said civil rights attorney Ron Kuby.

“If the police want to use the civil law as a tool in their policing, those of us who pay their salaries have the opportunity now to engage in some real reform, which is, stop the indemnification of cops, stop the free lawyers for the police, stop the qualified immunity for the police — and we’ll see how that works out for them.” 

Let’s pause to consider what Kuby is saying. 

Qualified immunity protects officers from being sued personally as long as they aren’t completely incompetent or their actions have not violated a clearly established statutory or Constitutional right. 

In those instances, qualified immunity is off the table for officers. But as long as they have done nothing wrong in the commission of their job, they are protected from frivolous law suits. 

But, what about reversing the scenario. A cop is assaulted while trying to legally and morally carry out his oath-sworn duties. The suspect resists arrest, causing injuries to the officer, The suspect is charged with trespassing and resisting, as was the case with Rivera. 

This is New York City. The District Attorney will not prosecute this case. Most likely, the suspect will walk free, and never face the consequences of his choice to resist.

Meanwhile, that officer may have long-term injuries that shorten his career. But, there is no other method for recourse against the person who willfully caused those injuries. 

Isn’t it ironic that a civil rights attorney says that cops should not have access to the civil law that he uses to fight for his clients every day? 

Continuing on Kuby’s statement, he wants to remove the very freedom that everyone has, and that is a right to representation. It’s right there in Miranda. So, Kuby wants criminals to have access to a free lawyer, but not cops.  

Fox News continues:

“Lawmakers in Congress and some state legislatures have moved to strip qualified immunity as a legal protection for police. Kuby also said police officers have gone to great lengths to protect their privacy, which would be removed by filing a lawsuit.

‘The cops freak out about their privacy concerns and don’t want their personal history handed over to the very people that they are suing,’ Kuby said. ‘That is another powerful reason not to go through with these lawsuits.’”

But DiGiacomo countered:

“We will be behind our detectives and pursue these cases civilly and send a message to the criminal element, that you are not going to get away with this. If we can’t get you one way, we will get you another.”

New York has a new ‘police reform’ package. It’s almost as if they want every cop to quit. (Op-Ed)

NEW YORK – As violent protests and rioting continue throughout the country, New York state alone has seen hundreds of officers injured, many seriously.  Over a 5- day period, over 300 officers were injured, 16 officers were shot, and one officer died.  Very recently, two Brooklyn officers were shot when responding to assist a fellow officer who was stabbed in the neck.
 
NYPD commissioner Dermot Shea termed the violence against law enforcement as “a despicable and unprovoked attack.
 

 
“While many have peacefully expressed their anger and grief, others have hijacked protests to engage in lawlessness, violent rioting, arson, looting of businesses and public property, assaults on law enforcement officers and innocent people, and even the murder of a federal agent.”
 
The New York City Police Benevolent Association noted that the freeing of a looter “charged with bashing a cop’s head open with a glass bong”  is indicative of a declaration of  “open season on police officers.
 
The PBA said:
“We will say it again:  NYC police officers have been utterly abandoned.”
 
Even after New York city saw a 100% increase in murders in May, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo continued pressing a police reform package that, according to New York City PBA president Patrick Lynch, would leave law enforcement officers unable to perform their duties.

Lynch said:

“We will be permanently frozen, stripped of all resources and unable to do the job. We don’t want to see our communities suffer, but this is what Governor Cuomo and our elected leaders have chosen.”

Lynch pointed out that police officers are left to pick up the pieces in areas in which New York state has failed its citizens.

Lynch continued:

“Governor Cuomo and our legislative leaders have no business celebrating today.  New York state had been failing our communities for decades: failing to provide economic opportunity, failing to educate our youth, failing to care for the vulnerable and the mentally ill.

“Police officers spend our days addressing issues caused by these failures.”

Even Cuomo himself admitted to the shortcomings, noting a difference of $23,000 per student between a wealthy school district and a poorer one.

The bills passed in New York include a ban on chokeholds, facilitation of suits against frivoloud calls to police officer, and the formation of a special investigative body to examine deaths related to police encounters.

In addition, Section 50-a has been eliminated, rendering public all complaints and disciplinary actions against officers.  Police unions are concerned that this action will encourage “frivolous complaints.”

Although revealing personal information of officers and families is still not permitted after elimination of Section 50-a, the targeting of police officers, and the potential for hostile acts against them, remain of concern.

New York State Senator George Borrello noted:

“The very nature of law enforcement is one that entices many vengeful perpetrators to retaliate by filing groundless complaints. Now those unfounded complaints will become fodder to discredit officers, or even worse, they may trigger anger and violence.”
 
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio added his own measures to the mix, calling for diversion of an undisclosed amount of funds from the NYPD budget to youth and social services.
De Blasio stated:
 
“We are committed to shifting resources to ensure that the focus is on our young people.”
 

 
Such an approach, according to the PBA, has been tried multiple times before, and addressing social circumstances in the community has simply fallen right back into the hands of law enforcement:
 
“In so many areas we’ve been waiting for a more appropriate agency to take over & do the job effectively. How many times have we heard about a ‘different approach’ to homelesson (sic) the subway? How many times has the actual work landed back on the NYPD including during the pandemic?”
 
At a time when violence in New York is extraordinarily high, and at a time when unprovoked violence against police officers is rampant, law enforcement is finding it necessary to warn their communities that anti-police measures will disallow them from serving public safety.
 
 
“They’re asking us to pull back, they’re asking us to walk away from you. They’re asking us to abandon our communities.
“There’s been a message not only from our City Hall but from the statehouse, that says there will be a soft touch — and the criminals know it.”
 
 
Here’s more on the unions in New York brought to you earlier this week by Law Enforcement Today:
 

On Tuesday, the heads of several police unions in New York blasted the media, politicians and others for their portrayal of police officers in the aftermath of the George Floyd homicide involving a Minneapolis police officer.

They complained that the police were being “treated like animals.”

Actually, one could argue that animals are treated better than police are these days.

 

Mike O’Meara, president of the New York Association of Police Benevolent Associations told a gathered news conference, while gesturing to a group of police officers gathered behind him:

“I’m not Derek Chauvin; they are not him,” he said. “He killed someone. We didn’t! We are restrained. We roundly reject what he did as disgusting. It’s not what we do ”

National Review said O’Meara lit into various constituencies in defending police across the country from unprecedented criticism in light of the actions of one rogue officer in Minnesota.

“The legislators, the press, everybody’s trying to shame us into being embarrassed about our profession,” he said.

“Stop treating us like animals and thugs and start treating us with some respect…We’ve been left out of the conversation, we’ve been vilified—it’s disgusting…trying to make us embarrassed of our profession.”

Holding up his badge, O’Meara continued:

“You know what? This [police badge] isn’t stained by someone in Minneapolis. It’s still got a shine on it, and so do theirs,” pointing to fellow officers.

“Our legislators abandoned us. The press is vilifying us,” O’Meara continued.

“Nobody talks about all the police officers that were killed in the last week in the United States of America and there were a number of them.”

O’Meara also cited the fact that there are over 375 million interactions between police and the public each year, a majority of which are “overwhelmingly positive,” Newsweek reported.

“But what we read in the papers all week is that in the black community, mothers are worried about their children getting home from school without being killed by a cop,” O’Meara said.

“What world are we living in? That doesn’t happen. It does not happen.”

On Sunday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose daughter was arrested during the riots in New York, said that the city would divert some money away from the NYPD to other programs.

During the height of the riots in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo blasted the NYPD, saying, “The police in New York City were not effective at doing their job…Period.”

Cuomo’s remarks drew sharp criticism from NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan on Monday.

“I’m watching my men and women out there dealing with stuff that no cop should ever have to deal with; bricks, bottles, rocks, hit in the face with bottles, and continuing to go forward to make an arrest,” Monahan said.

“For a governor to be sitting in his office saying that we’re not doing a good job—I’m outraged.”

The cuts proposed by DeBlasio come at a time when violent crime has surged in the city, despite the fact it’s still in what is supposed to be a lockdown over the coronavirus.

According to Breitbart, murder has jumped over 94 percent over the last month compared to the same time period last year.

Burglaries, which are subject to the New York legislature’s “get out of jail free” bill, has increased nearly 34 percent year over year for the same time period. Finally, auto theft, with suspects also benefiting from the “bail reform bill” has become the fastest growing crime in the Big Apple.

De Blasio of course is pandering to the Black Lives Matter criminal enterprise, which is lobbying city officials across the country to defund police. De Blasio has vowed to look at cutting the NYPD funding during the city’s budget process in the coming weeks.

As politicians, Hollywood elites, overpaid athletes, and the criminal element throw every police officer in the country under the bus, crime in their cities is going through the roof. Keep on defunding the police…there’s a movie called “Escape From New York” that may be more of a reality than was ever anticipated.

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