LAS Wins Settlement Against NYPD in Controversial Banned Chokehold Case

The Legal Aid Society and Covington & Burling LLP announced a $567,500 settlement with New York City in a case challenging the NYPD’s continued use of banned chokeholds and misusing tasers, as reported by the New York Daily News.

The case was brought on behalf of Plaintiff Tomás Medina after Mr. Medina was placed in an illegal chokehold and tased thirteen times by NYPD Detective Fabio Nunez over a suspected noise violation. Mr. Medina chose to settle his claim after receiving confirmation that Detective Nunez – who had an extensive history of complaints lodged against him – was forced to retire as part of a guilty plea entered during the disciplinary investigation into the matter.

Molly Griffard, Cop Accountability Project Fellow at The Legal Aid Society, hopes the settlement will serve as a reminder to the NYPD that abusive policing practices will be taken seriously and that officers should be held accountable for their misconduct.

“While this settlement will never completely right the injustice that Tomás Medina suffered or dismantle the NYPD’s culture of impunity for excessive force, it does provide some closure and sends a message to the NYPD that violence against civilians will be met with consequences,” Griffard said. “So long as the NYPD brutalizes our clients, we will continue to seek accountability and an end to NYPD violence.”

Mr. Medina was represented in his civil rights action by Corey Stoughton, Alexander Lesman, and Molly Griffard of Legal Aid and by David Kornblau, Ishita Kala, Micha Nandaraj Gallo, Flannery Gallagher, and Jessica Gerson of Covington & Burling LLP.