Allegations of Police Brutality in Troy, NY

Published On November 28, 2013 | By Captain Six | Articles

Captain Six shared this post via CopBlock.org’s submit page.

via Station.6.Underground

A Saratoga Springs man is suing the city of Troy and three police officers alleging that he was violently attacked without cause, and falsely arrested in August 2011 at an area hospital.

According to the lawsuit filed, John M. Larkins brought his aunt to the hospital after she was injured in an accident at home. The aunt, who is hearing impaired, became upset when police began questioning her nephew and didn’t understand why police had become involved in the matter. Larkins was accused of domestic violence by the police officers, but did not resist the arrest. Despite his cooperation, he had his arm wrenched back, was knocked to the ground, and was tasered in the head and neck repeatedly. After being placed in a police car and while handcuffed, police pepper-sprayed him.

Larkins was later acquitted of all charges.

The lawsuit complaint goes on to say that police concealed from the courts, the DA’s office, and from defense counsel that Larkins’ arrest was based on false information.

You can read more on this case from timesunion.com.

A few days ago we mentioned another case of police brutality in Troy, in this brief, which points out that even the chief of police is effectively powerless to hold his subordinates accountable for criminal wrongdoing.

Captain Six

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  • John Q Public

    First, Yo!

  • KAZ

    This is exactly why the courts need to eliminate qualified immunity for idiot cops. If the police officers know that they themselves could be sued for hurting people based off false information they wouldn’t be so quick to use violence against others.
    —-take away all police immunity for a safer America—-

  • Common Sense

    ….you really need to read what “qualified immunity” is.

  • steve

    If we hear from the local trolls a whole different perspective will be brought to you in a sociopathathic ideaology.

  • John Q Public

    CS, CPT6 knows everything. He doesn’t need to know pesky details such as that.

  • t

    KAZ: You are truly clueless guy.

  • Ghost

    http://www.lectlaw.com/def2/q063.htm

    QUALIFIED IMMUNITY The defense of qualified immunity protects “government officials . . . from liability for civil damages insofar as their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.” Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818 (1982). The rule of qualified immunity ” `provides ample support to all but the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law.’ ” Burns v. Reed, 500 U.S. 478, 494-95 (1991) (quoting Malley v. Briggs, 475 U.S. 335, 341 (1986)). “Therefore, regardless of whether the constitutional violation occurred, the officer should prevail if the right asserted by the plaintiff was not `clearly established’ or the officer could have reasonably believed that his particular conduct was lawful.” Romero v. Kitsap County, 931 F.2d 624, 627 (9th Cir. 1991) (emphasis added). Furthermore, “[t]he entitlement is an immunity from suit rather than a mere defense to liability; .. . it is effectively lost if a case is erroneously permitted to go to trial.” Mitchell v. Forsyth, 472 U.S. 511, 526 (1985).

    The qualified immunity test requires a two-part analysis: “(1) Was the law governing the official’s conduct clearly established? (2) Under that law, could a reasonable officer have believed the conduct was lawful?” Act-Up!, 988 F.2d at 871; see also Tribble v. Gardner, 860 F.2d 321, 324 (9th Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 490 U.S. 1075 (1989).

    The qualified immunity doctrine protects government officials from liability for civil damages “insofar as their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.” Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818 (1982). In determining whether an official is entitled to qualified immunity, we (1) identify the specific right allegedly violated; (2) determine whether the right was “clearly established;” and (3) determine whether a reasonable officer could have believed that his or her conduct was lawful. Alexander v. City and County of San Francisco, 29 F.3d 1355, 1363-64 (9th Cir. 1994).

    Courts apply the test articulated by the Supreme Court in Anderson v. Creighton, 483 U.S. 635 (1987), to determine whether the right is “sufficiently clear that a reasonable official would understand that what he is doing violates that right.” Id. at 639-40. It is not necessary that the specific action in question previously have been declared unconstitutional, so long as the unlawfulness was apparent in light of preexisting law. Id. at 640. We consider whether “the particular facts of [the] case support a claim of clearly established right.” Backlund v. Barnhart, 778 F.2d 1386, 1389 (9th Cir. 1985).

    Even where a constitutional violation has occurred, an officer will be immune from suit if he or she “could have reasonably believed that his particular conduct was lawful.” Romero, 931 F.2d at 627.

    “[A] district court’s denial of a claim of qualified immunity, to the extent that it turns on an issue of law, is an appealable ‘final decision’ within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. section 1291 notwithstanding the absence of a final judgment.” Mitchell v. Forsyth, 472 U.S. 511, 530 (1985).

  • ThirtyOneBravo

    In the infamous words of Alvin, a frequent commenter on here…

    (face palm) (eye roll)

  • t

    Ghost: where does any of that apply here?

  • Captain Six

    Police enjoy no immunity from violent criminal acts. Not legally anyway, though we know that in reality they get away with murder all the time.

  • t

    Fraud: Its been pretty well established that you should be barred from being allowed to use the term”we know OR I know”. You clearly don’t know.

  • steve

    A bit of what I have read on qualified immunity.

    42 usc sec 1983

    Biven v Six Unknown Named Agents

    403 usc 388 (1971)

    Qualified Immunity, is described as ,while performing discretionary functions where their actions, even if found unlawful, did not violate “clearly established law”

    Qualified Immunity, is designed to shield government officials from actions insofar as their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.

    Saucier v Katz , estalished a rigid order in which the courts must decide the merits of a defendants qualified immunity defense. 1st the court determines whether the complaint states a constitutional violation. The 2nd is to determine whether the rights at issue was clearly established at the time of the officials conduct.

    The court subsequently overruled Saucier in Pearson v Callahan holding that the two step procedure was no longer mandatory.

  • t

    And?

  • steve

    And it goes on farther.There are so many rulings and opinions that you should read it.I dont know how to copy and paste or I would have.I do feel that it does not cover an officials ass to act out of the constitution.

  • Common Sense

    The basic misconception is the ‘qualified immunity” – if granted – frees the police from any civil liability, and in fact is actually doesn’t.

  • t

    steve: The point is that if it is something criminal….there is no such thing as immunity from it. The cop blocker thinking is over all wrong in its understanding of this issue…and even the concept of it.

  • t

    Reading / citing case law is great….but if you don’t understand it….it doesn’t mean much.

  • Captain Six

    Qualified immunity is basically the foundation for power of arrest. A sworn officer may arrest you for questioning without getting sued if it turns out you had nothing to do with the crime being investigated. A civilian may also make an arrest, but if it turns out the civilian was wrong, he may then be sued for false arrest, whereas an officer cannot be. (A cop can actually be sued for false arrest too, but it has to be proven that there was malicious intent.)

  • t

    The fraud speaks. And speaks wrongly. Did you learn that in your first responder training?

  • steve

    Oh so true t.

  • steve

    look up scotus Stanton v Sims 11/4/13

  • t

    steve: The ninth circuit is such a dang joke.

    The discussion about immunity is great. But none of that really matters in this case. You guys are confusing issues I think. IF this guy was assaulted and wrongfully arrested….qualified immunity doesn’t apply. IF none of that happened and there was simply force within the arrest, so long as it was reasonable, qualified immunity doesn’t really apply in that the suit should be dismissed as it has no merit. He ultimately being found “not guilty” doesn’t factor in at all. It all comes down to what PC existed at the time of arrest.

  • Captain Six

    That’s the whole point t. Did you forget to read the actual article again in your quest to jump on my dick?

    There was no PC. They used FALSE INFORMATION to prosecute this guy. They made it up.

  • t

    Dang dumb dumb. Ease up and listen then try to think:

    Being acquitted does not mean that there was not PC to arrest him. It means there was t enough evidence for a jury to convict him BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. The standards are far different. Didn’t they teach you any of this in your police academy? Fraud.

  • Captain Six

    It has nothing to do with the acquittal you moron. The DA says that the officers falsified evidence. You are about as dense as week old brownie.

  • Captain Six

    They had no PC, which makes their actions criminal.

  • t

    Fraud: neither your story, nor your linked story says that. It says that his attorney alledged that. Some attorney for a plaintiff in a civil suit saying something about the case is far from proof that’s it happened.

    Read your own story fraudboy.

  • Captain Six

    Well, we we will see what the jury says. One jury already tossed the case against the victim. Which is quite telling in itself since juries often side with police.

    But it is has already been established that the police lied to the courts and the DA, creating the basis of this lawsuit in the first place.

    Get over it t. Sometimes cops commit crimes. And once in a blue moon they get nailed for it.

  • Captain Six

    The fact that you will sit there and defend cops who lie about evidence and do violent crime is also very telling as to what sort of piece of shit cop you really are/were too. Scumbag. No good cop would go to such lengths to justify criminal behavior in their ranks.

  • t

    Where has it “already been established”? Guy I don’t care one way or the other. I don’t know these guy and probably couldn’t find the place with a map. My point is that you have zero clue. Your story doesn’t say any of what you are alluding to

    More proof is the nonsensical the juries often side with the police. The reason for that is good cases. Honestly, I’ve only lost 1 trial in 18 years. Could some have gone the other way. I suppose. But IF it is as is frequently claimed around here…that everyone hates the police and nobody believes us….where are this juries coming from?

    It may be exactly what the plaintiffs attorney says it is. But a not guilty verdict doesn’t mean that the officers lied or that there wasn’t PC for the arrest.

    I don’t know if there was or wasn’t. But your story, nor your linked story, shows any different. It’s a lot like your boston bombing investigation. Shoddy. Like your eye witness that admits he was inside the building when the explosion happened and didn’t see anything. Not a witness. This story seems pretty much the same. Someone claims something and without any proof you buy it. Your lack of an objectivity is another telling factor in you being a fraud.

  • Captain Six

    Where has it already been established? It was established at Larkin’s criminal trial. That’s why he was found not guilty. Because the cops lied, they used false evidence. He didn’t get off on some technicality, the cops were as full of shit as you are, and now they are getting sued for it.

    A not guilty verdict doesn’t always mean that cops lied, or that there was no PC, but that is what did happen in this case.

  • t

    Where do you see that in your story dude?

  • Captain Six

    “police concealed from the courts, the DA’s office, and from defense counsel that Larkins’ arrest was based on false information.”

    Larkin’s lawyer knows whether or not he was provided with the proper information during discovery.

  • Captain Six

    “During the pretrial stages of the Rensselaer County prosecution, defendant police officers deliberately concealed from the courts, from the Rensselaer County district attorney and from defense counsel that the ‘information’ upon which they based the criminal charges of domestic abuse against Plaintiff was false,”

  • t

    Where did you get that? It’s not in your story.

  • John Q Public

    A Saratoga Springs man sued the city and three police officers on Monday, alleging that he was the victim of unjustified brutality by officers who used a Taser and pepper spray on him during an arrest at St. Mary’s Hospital.

    The complaint, filed by attorney Terence Kindlon on behalf of John M. Larkins, alleges assault, battery, false arrest, excessive force and malicious prosecution for the Aug. 27, 2011, incident.

    Larkins was acquitted at his trial. It is the second brutality complaint against city police to surface in the last week.

    The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Albany, says the incident happened when Larkins took his aunt to the hospital for treatment of injuries he said she suffered accidentally at her home.

    Officers Martin Furciniti, Derrick Comitale and Justin Ashe went to the hospital and accused Larkins of domestic violence, Kindlon said. Larkins’ aunt is hearing-impaired and was unable to understand why officers were questioning her nephew. The lawsuit said she became upset.

    Police arrested Larkins, who did not resist, Kindlon said.

    “The officers grabbed Mr. Larkins, bent back his hand, and put a Taser to his head,” the complaint states. “The officers knocked Mr. Larkins to the ground. Then, one of the officers Tased Mr. Larkins in his head and neck area numerous times while his fellow officers stood by and did not intervene to stop the assault.”

    Larkins was placed in a patrol car in handcuffs, and while there he was sprayed in the face by one of the officers while the others stood by, according to the complaint.

    Larkins was charged with three counts of second-degree assault and resisting arrest and one count of obstructing governmental administration. He was cleared of all charges by a trial jury in May.

    Kindlon alleges that Larkins suffered “severe and permanent physical injuries, pain and suffering, financial hardship and intentional infliction of emotional harm and other items of damages.”

    Larkins seeks unspecified financial damages.

    Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia’s office said the city denies the allegations.

    “The city has received the complaint filed by Mr. Larkins and plans to proceed by vigorously defending against it,” said Jessica Sibley, deputy director of public information for Rosamilia. “We cannot comment further while litigation is pending.”

    Kindlon also alleges that the police deceived District Attorney Richard McNally.

    “During the pretrial stages of the Rensselaer County prosecution, defendant police officers deliberately concealed from the courts, from the Rensselaer County district attorney and from defense counsel that the ‘information’ upon which they based the criminal charges of domestic abuse against Plaintiff was false,” according to the complaint.

    District Attorney Richard McNally did not immediately respond to calls for comment.

    Last week an officer was accused of using excessive force on Dec. 23, 2012, for allegedly hitting a person under arrest in the head and injuring him. That allegation came to light after Chief John Tedesco said Friday that he is facing an Internal Affairs inquiry into his release of findings in that case.

    An officer and the Troy Police Benevolent Association lawyer filed the Internal Affairs complaint against Tedesco after the chief wrote to the alleged victim on April 18 of this year.

    Tedesco has said he wants the FBI to scrutinize his department’s investigation of that alleged beating.

    Tedesco said after he was informed of the internal investigation, he told department officials that the case should be reviewed by the Rensselaer County District Attorney’s Office.

  • John Q Public

    CPT6 is taking what a defense attorney said and using it as total truth.

  • t

    JQP: I don’t know what the frauds deal is. He has repeatedly gone back to the complaints attorney as proof. Apparently he’s slow or something.

    Fraud: Once again guy….I don’t know if this is true or not. Don’t really care. But you need to realize that you are putting things out as fact that simply aren’t in evidence. They may end up in evidence…but they clearly aren’t as of now.

    You have achieved maximun density.

  • John Q Public

    t, I thought it was odd that CPT6 makes a quote and conveniently leaves out who said it. That’s why I looked at the story and posted it in its entirety. Of course the attorney is going to put his client in the best possible light while making the entity he is suing look like crap. CPT6 seems to like to put out half truths and then puts a spin on things when its not there. Nice try CPT6, but it didn’t work.

  • Captain Six

    The quote was in the linked material. You are too lazy to seek truth.

    Now I will make a small concession here. These are indeed allegations, not a legal conviction, made against a department with a checkered history in which even the police chief himself admits wrongdoing and which the defense attorney did not get proper information during Constitutionally mandated discovery phase of prosecution of the charged client.

    So all in all, there is ample evidence for the court of public opinion to say these cops fucked up. Now I do believe in innocent until proven guilty. So I will eat hat if some amazing new info comes out in court. But that certainly does not appear likely at this point.

    Keep in mind guys, I am not the typical “cop-hater” here. I often justify acts by LEO’s that non-professionals see as criminal. Take the case of the kid that got shot after he “stole” his father’s truck, for example. That was a justifiable shoot as far as Im concerned, even though the suspect had no firearm.

  • John Q Public

    CPT6, you are too lazy to put out the FULL truth. I did look it up and posted the WHOLE story, not a portion of it. And, like you said, its merely allegations. You conveniently left that out on your post at December 4, 2013 at 4:41 pm. Now its seems you’re backpedaling by saying “you are too lazy to seek truth”. When the results of this suit come out, then we’ll see if the allegations are unfounded or not. The court of public opinion is just not the place to seek truth, unless you like to speculate. Actually, you do seem to like to speculate. Innocent until proven guilty? Not on this site, and you know it.

  • t

    Fraud: I care if you’re a cop hater or not. You are presenting as fact things that clearly aren’t facts. I read your story. I followed your link to your site to read the article you got your info from. None of what you put up as fact…IS A FACT. Now you are making more baseless allegations and claiming them to be fact….when there are no facts to support it.
    Dude I’m not surprised by any of this. I’ve seen your site and the absolute nonsense there. Baseless crap that you present as fact. I pointed out earlier that you put forward as your proof…your smoking gun of a government cover up in the Boston bombing was a guy that YOU claimed was an eyewitness. The guy himself said int the video that he was inside the bar when the explosion happened and then walked outside. I’m not making it up…he said it. But YOU put it out as fact that he was a witness. More proof of you being a fraud.

    Guy I really don’t care about you or this incident. But putting out known false information is wrong and I call you and everyone else on it.

    It’s funny that after all your griping that you finally admit that you are full of it.

  • Captain Six

    t is mad because a few scumbags cops are being called to account for their criminal acts, which their very own chief has acknowledged.

    You are a scumbag troll apologist t, who thinks cops can do no wrong. You only emphasize everything that is wrong with modern policing in in the US. You t, are such a useless apologist that you will defend them, all facts aside.

    A cop could shoot POTUS live on CNN, and he would still sit there with some bullshit excuse.

    You, are the fraud scumbag.

  • t

    Whatever guy. I don’t need to lie to prove my points.

    Truth is like a nice soft pillow. Dude, you need a pillow.