The city will pay a $360,000 settlement to a civil rights lawyer and his wife who claimed they were falsely arrested by cops after objecting to the beatdown of a drug suspect on a Brooklyn street.
Michael Warren and wife Evelyn, who is also a lawyer, claimed vindication in their lawsuit, which was scheduled for civil trial Monday.
The couple were stopped at a red light on Vanderbilt and Atlantic Aves. on June 21, 2007, when they observed cops tackle a man. The suspect was handcuffed when Sgt. Steven Talvy allegedly kicked the man in the head.
The Warrens got out of their vehicle and Michael Warren told the sergeant what he was doing was wrong and illegal. The couple alleged they were punched in the face before being charged with disorderly conduct. They spent about six hours in police custody.
"Without the witnesses, it would have been our words against the police version of the incident, which was totally wrong and false," Evelyn Warren said outside Brooklyn Federal Court.
Their lawyer Jonathan Moore said the substantial payout confirms the officers engaged in wrongdoing and noted that Talvy and Officers Joseph Tillotson, Anthony Carozza and John Acconi have cost the city over a half a million dollars to settle multiple lawsuits.
The Civilian Complaint Review Board substantiated an excessive force allegation against Talvy in the Warrens' case. He was promoted to lieutenant in 2009.
A spokeswoman for the city Law Department said the settlement was in the best interest of all parties.
Who are the Warrens?
Michael Tarif Warren is a high profile attorney who has been practicing law for over 32 years. His wife Evelyn, is also an attorney. Mr. Warren is a noted human rights attorney known for handling cases of police brutality; Including those of Michael Stewart, Yvonne Smallwood, Veteran Black Panther Sadiki "Bro. Shep" Ojore Olugbala, and the five young Black teenagers falsely convicted of raping the white bank executive "the Central Park Jogger." He is currently representing Harlem & Bronx Community leader and activist Bro. Shaka Shakur in yet another case of police terror by the NYPD.
On Thursday, June 21, 2007 Mr. and Mrs. Warren became victims of police abuse in Brooklyn when they both were stopped in their car at a red light at the intersection of Atlantic & Vanderbilt Avenues in Brooklyn, only a few blocks from where they live and practice law. They observed many NYPD officers chasing a young man across the parking lot of a McDonald's. The police caught the young man and proceeded to start beating him, in full view of hundreds of people, including children. Tarif stepped out of his car and yelled at the police to stop beating the young man. The same police, led by a sergeant, came over to the Warrens' vehicle, reached in and started beating Tarif, then dragged him out of the car and arrested him. When Evelyn objected, she too was arrested—and hit in the face.
Tarif and Evelyn were then taken to the 77th Pct. but their arrests had been witnessed by people who knew them. Within hours, hundreds of people had gathered at the precinct demanding that the Warrens be released. They were, but then spent the next many, many months fighting the criminal charges, which were ultimately dismissed by the District Attorney's Office.
The Warrens filed a federal (civil rights) action against the police who beat and arrested them, the NYPD and the City of New York.
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