QUEENS — An off-duty NYPD officer who was falsely arrested and beaten by fellow officers inside his own home was awarded $15 million by a federal jury on Wednesday.
Officer Larry Jackson, who is black, was beaten with batons, choked, kicked, sprayed in the face with pepper spray and had his hand fractured during the 2010 attack, according to his lawyer, who blames race biases on escalating the incident.
The confrontation began after Jackson’s wife called 911 to resolve a dispute outside their home, where they had just held their daughter’s birthday party.
When police arrived, they mistook Jackson for one of the agitators and began to physically subdue him, ignoring his repeated attempts to identify himself as a member of the NYPD, according to the lawsuit.
“Dude, it is my house and I am a police officer too,” Jackson told the arresting officers, according to the complaint. Jackson was then handcuffed and taken to the 113th Precinct stationhouse even after officers found his NYPD shield, which had been in his front pocket the whole time, the lawsuit says.
“He’ll never be compensated for the disrespect he’s received from the police department,” says Jackson’s attorney, Eric Sanders.
The Brooklyn Federal Court jury found Jackson entitled to punitive damages from 12 individual officers totaling $2.6 million, in addition to $12.5 million in damages.
The Queens District Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute the arresting officers following an investigation, the New York Post reported.
Jackson's hand is still recovering from the attack and he can't hold a gun and may have to retire, according to the lawsuit.
The city's Law Department called the verdict "excessive," and said it may still be overturned, according to the Post.
“Nothing is final. Indeed, the judge’s post trial review could lead to the verdict being set aside or a new trial,” the city Law Department said in a statement to the Post.