HOWD & LUDORF, LLC WINS FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS JURY TRIAL FOR HARTFORD POLICE DEPARTMENT
Howd & Ludorf, LLC Partner, Alan Dembiczak, has successfully defended three City of Hartford police officers in U.S. District Court New Haven against a claim they used excessive force during the course of an arrest. In Lamar McCathy v. City of Hartford et al., Hartford Police officers had probable cause to arrest Lamar McCarthy on an outstanding warrant, and when they encountered McCarthy he led them on a foot chase. The chase continued for several minutes, and involved McCarthy attempting to hijack a tow truck and a Hartford Police Department cruiser. Ultimately, McCarthy was surrounded and taken to the ground for handcuffing. He struggled against the arrest procedure and additional force (feet on back and neck) was used to keep McCarthy pinned to the ground until handcuffed. McCarthy claimed his civil rights protected by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution were violated in that he was beaten by the police; but hospital records did not contain any evidence of punching or kicking by the Hartford Police Department officers. Attorney Dembiczak argued that all force used on McCarthy was reasonable, and that the escalation in force used on McCarthy was justified by McCarthy’s continued resistance to arrest. The seven-person jury agreed, returning a unanimous verdict for the City and its officers in less than one hour.