An accused shoplifter was awarded $510,000 for an injury suffered during arrest. In May 2011, Kevin Jarman was arrested for shoplifting a bag of shrimp from a Pathmark store in Queens, New York. Jarman later claimed New York police officer Samuel Morales caused him to fall and break his ankle while handcuffed.
Although Jarman pleaded guilty to the shoplifting charge, he filed a civil lawsuit against the New York Police Department. In the lawsuit, Jarman admits that he committed a crime. However, he claims Morales was unnecessarily rough during the arrest.
According to the complaint, Jarman asked the officer to loosen his handcuffs. Rather than loosen the cuffs, Morales reportedly “yanked on them” and caused the suspect to lose his balance. Jarman further claimed that Moraels stood on his foot as he fell to the ground.
Jarman’s attorney claims “Sergeant Morales, in effect, tripped” the suspect, which caused him to fall and break his ankle. Following the incident, Morales reportedly laughed at Jarman and suggested posting the footage on social media sites.
As reported by Daily News, Morales claims the suspect was combative during the arrest. He admits Jarman fell to the ground. However, he said he was not tripped — he simply passed out during the struggle.
The New York Post reports that Jarman was eventually transported to a local hospital for treatment. According to court documents, the suspect spent nine days in Jamaica Hospital. Although the injury has healed, Jarman will likely walk with a limp for the rest of his life.
As he suffered a permanent injury, the shoplifter was awarded $510,000 in damages. A law enforcement official, who wishes to remain anonymous, said the jury’s decision is disgraceful:
“Some of these verdicts are just nuts… There’s no rhyme or reason to the figure they come up with. These guys are getting huge paydays, and for what? A broken ankle? Half a million? To a shoplifter? It’s getting out of control.”
Kevin Jarman is no stranger to law enforcement, or civil lawsuits. In 2005, he was arrested for selling drugs. As the charges were later dismissed, he was awarded $15,000 in damages for false arrest.
In November 2013, he was arrested in similar charges. He was awarded $20,000 in damages when those charges were later dismissed.
Muriel Goode-Trufant, an attorney for the city of New York, said he plans to appeal the jury’s decision.
It is unknown whether Kevin Jarman is being singled out and harassed by law enforcement officials. However, a New York jury determined the shoplifter is entitled to $510,000 in damages for his broken ankle.
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