Police Place Substance Abuse Counselor in Jail without Conducting Field Test
Online PR News – 23-October-2013 – Staten Island, New York – Jason Leventhal, Partner, Leventhal and Klein, LLP, has announced today that his client, George Pringle, has reached a settlement in the amount of $42,500 with the City after NYPD officers falsely arrested Mr. Pringle with possession of crack cocaine.
On February 2, 2011, Mr. Pringle, a 57-year-old Staten Island resident who works as a substance abuse counselor, was coming out of a barber shop when officers from the 120th Precinct unlawfully stopped, frisked and searched him, falsely claiming that he had sold loose cigarettes. The officers searched inside Mr. Pringle’s pockets and removed a peppermint candy. Mr. Pringle immediately told the officers that it was a peppermint candy and that they should test it. Officer Raggi knew that the candy had no resemblance to crack cocaine.
The officers refused to perform a simple and routine field test on the substance but instead, handcuffed Mr. Pringle, transported him to the 120th Precinct, and imprisoned him for 27 hours until his release at his arraignment. Officer Raggi falsely accused Mr. Pringle of possession of a controlled substance. The false charge that was filed, based on Officer Raggi’s perjurious statement, was dismissed after a laboratory analysis confirmed that the substance was not crack cocaine.
On February 2, 2012, Mr. Leventhal filed Mr. Pringle’s lawsuit against the City and the officers in the United States District Court for Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn. Mr. Pringle reached a settlement with the city on October 11, 2013.
“These officers knew it was a piece of candy and intentionally did not field test it,” Mr. Leventhal said. “The NYPD’s failure to require a routine field test for all drug arrests endangers the constitutional rights of all New Yorkers. By not policing itself, the NYPD continues to empower rogue police officers to falsely arrest and charge innocent people with serious crimes.”
For more information, call (718) 722-4100 or visit www.levklein.com.
About Leventhal & Klein, LLP
Leventhal & Klein, LLP specializes in civil rights litigation. The attorneys of Leventhal & Klein are admitted to practice in the federal and state courts of New York and New Jersey. The firm is known for its work in all law enforcement misconduct matters including wrongful conviction, police brutality, false arrest, and malicious prosecution. For more information, call (718) 722-4100, follow us at www.twitter.com/LeventhalKlein or visit www.levklein.com.