EAST HARLEM — A woman who claims she was falsely arrested is suing the NYPD, saying she lost her job after the incident and that she was forced to withdraw an application to work for the police department.
Elaine Francis said she received a call to come to the NYPD's 25th precinct, in East Harlem, in January 2014 because her teenage son was in custody, according to the suit filed last month in Manhattan Federal Court.
She went to the precinct, where officers were attempting to talk to her son who was under arrest for an undisclosed crime, and met with Detectives Jermaine Clark and Joseph Sanatore and Officer Ivan Cobotic, who are named as defendants in the suit.
She tried to convince her son to talk to the police, but he was being uncooperative and Francis asked to speak to her son alone, the suit says.
Francis said the detectives tried to pressure her into signing a Miranda rights waiver form, telling her "she could only speak to her son if she signed the paper," which would waive his rights to an attorney and allow any statements he made to be used against him in court.
Francis refused to sign the form.
After an unnamed female officer gestured Francis to talk to her outside of the interrogation room, Francis said she heard "a banging or smashing sound," thought her son was harmed and ran back inside the room.
That’s when Clark tackled her from behind, the suit said.
Francis was then cuffed and later told she was under arrest for "assaulting an officer."
She was taken to central booking and held for a day, where additional charges were added including resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration, according to the suit.
The suit alleges that Clark and Sanatore filed false complaints which caused Francis to appear in criminal court several times between March 2014 and February 2015, according to the suit.
David Thompson, a lawyer for Francis, said because of the arrest and having to defend the charges, which were later dismissed, Francis lost her job as a part-time counselor at a homeless shelter and had to withdraw an application she had made to work for the NYPD.
Thompson said the "suit speaks for itself."
"We think we will prevail," he added.
The city's Law Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.