Is the city liable for the illegal searches conducted by several correction officers?
News sources uncovered a horrific violation of privacy occurring at the Manhattan Detention Complex. Investigations revealed that at least six female correction officers had subjected women visitors to the prison to invasive strip searches and body cavity searches. The female officers alleged to have committed this misconduct have been indicted on several charges, including conspiracy, official misconduct, and unlawful imprisonment. Below, our NYC personal injury lawyers discuss the unlawful behavior that is alleged to have occurred at the Manhattan jail and who should be held accountable to the victims for these atrocities.
Routine Unlawful Strip Searches at Manhattan Detention Complex
Court documents reveal that several corrections officers at the Manhattan Detention Complex subjected visitors to strip searches, requiring them to completely undress. Searches involved unlawful touching of the visitor’s breasts and genital areas. Officers attempted to justify the searches by filing false paperwork in some instances.
The Correction Officer’s Benevolent Association issued a statement in response, urging that the public should realize the corrections officers work hard to keep the prison and public safe every day. Officers often confiscate contraband like razors and drugs from visitors. However, the Association acknowledged that searches cannot come at the cost of the visitor’s dignity. Per department rules, searches should consist of a pat frisk for those visitors suspected of having contraband and require prior written consent.
This is not the first instance of illegal strip searches in city jails. Several other women filed claims last summer against the DOC, alleging abuse by corrections officers. Jail policies were reformed after these complaints, yet it appears abuse is ongoing. With criminal prosecutions currently pending, it remains to be seen whether the women who experienced the abuse will pursue personal injury claims against the DOC. It is possible to pursue litigation against the municipality to obtain compensation for illegal and egregious actions by city employees. Lawsuits against cities or municipalities can involve some complications as limited immunities exist. Contact the law office of Michael LoGiudice for more assistance with your potential case.