Jan 122012

Deaf man paid $200k in Annapolis, MD police brutality suit:

Largest local settlement in at least four years


By Scott Daugherty, The Capital 10/20/11

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The county has paid a deaf man $200,000 to settle a police brutality lawsuit.


The payout figure — released to The Capital last week after a request under the state’s Public Information Act — represents the largest such settlement by the county in at least four years. Most brutality and false arrest claims filed against the county Police Department in recent years have resulted in settlements of no more than $25,000.


Despite the size of the settlement, the check came with no apology for Stephen Pyles of Pasadena.


And the officers involved in the April 16, 2008, incident — Cpl. Louis Facciponti and Cpl. Steven James — remain on the force, officials said.


“Under the circumstances, the decision was made that (a settlement) was the most prudent way to dispose of the claim,” said County Attorney Jonathan Hodgson, declining further comment.


Justin Mulcahy, a spokesman for the county Police Department, also declined to comment.


The president of the union that represents Facciponti and James blasted the county for settling the lawsuit. He said the county would have prevailed if the case went to trial.


“I would like to see our Office of Law take a stand against frivolous lawsuits rather than ‘dispose of’ them with cash awards,” Cpl. O’Brien Atkinson, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 70, said in an email.


Joseph S. Mack, Pyles’ attorney, declined to comment about the lawsuit — citing a confidentiality agreement.


The incident

According to police and the 10-page lawsuit, Pyles used a TTY telephone at about 6 a.m. to report a burglary at his home on Colony Road. Facciponti and James responded.


Pyles met the officers outside, mimed that he was deaf and pointed to a broken window.


Inside the house, Pyles and the officers used a notepad to trade several handwritten notes.


What happens next is in dispute.


For the complete article: http://www.policeone.com/legal/articles/4836811-Deaf-man-paid-200k-in-police-brutality-suit/

– Thanks to NVRC, Fairfax (12/20/11)