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Home  >  Topics  >  Use of Force

September 11, 2012
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After charges dismissed, Bronx man sues over arrest video

Incident began when suspect said he "got paranoid" at sight of NYPD cruiser

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — A Bronx man involved in an allegedly violent confrontation with police is suing the officers and the city following a grand jury's decision to drop  charges against him after viewing a video of the arrest.

Luis Solivan, 19, was charged with resisting arrest and assault on an officer in November last year, the New York Times reported.  According to court papers, the incident began when Solivan was walking home and saw a NYPD cruiser U-turn toward him.

Officers Brian O'Keeffe and Thomas Dekoker approached to stop him and Solivan "got paranoid," he said in an interview Friday. A short pursuit was captured in part by security cameras at Solivan's apartment that recorded a man run into a building with two officers behind him.

The tape picks up again as an acquaintance continued to record from outside the window once the three men were inside, when Solivan alleges the officers handcuffed him and deployed pepper spray. His lawyers said officers hit his head against the wall, which wasn’t captured on video but shows they used excessive force.

Police have a different account. According to a complaint filed by the officers, Solivan punched them, took their radios when they tried to call for backup and then reached for one of their duty weapons.

After viewing the footage, the grand jury voted against indicting Solivan, who at the time was awaiting sentencing in a 2010 stabbing. The current suit was filed on Monday in Federal District Court.

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