Admittedly a paltry amount but significant because a judge has put their foot down to police abuse. A very rare occurrence, to the detriment of all.
But the message is clear to police and prosecutors that digging up dirt on critics will not be an acceptable police activity. And the prosecutor that led the plaintiffs deposition with intrusive personal questioning was also chastised on the record.
The judge said the Police Department went after a drug test Sharp took three years before the incident, employment records, and that they even contacted the boyfriend of Sharp's ex-wife.I'm glad this judge has seen fit to let the police and prosecutors know they aren't gangsters trying to squeeze their enemies.
The judge called the tactics an intrusion into Sharp's personal life, saying " ... the abuse is particularly egregious given the enormous power that police wield over citizens and their enhanced ability to track information."
The judge singled out the Police Department's lawyer, saying, "depositions ... present a picture of ... counsel working plaintiff over, asking irrelevant and personal questions about his custody arrangements ... and his divorce. It was an appalling and apparent attempt to squeeze the plaintiff."
The judge then ordered the Police Department to pay $1,000.
6:43 AM PT: Counterpoint from Louisville:
A Louisville Metro Police officer convicted Friday of official misconduct and harassment for striking a handcuffed suspect multiple times was spared jail time and fined $2.I guess a slap on the wrist was too forceful for someone that hits people in restraints.
Officer David Graham could have been sentenced to up to 12 months in jail or a $500 fine for the misconduct charge, and up to 90 days in jail or a $250 fine for the harassment charge, said Julie Hardesty, the first assistant Jefferson County attorney.
Instead, a Jefferson District Court jury fined Graham $1 on each of the charges and imposed no jail time after a two-day trial before District Judge Don Armstrong.