Jury Awards $90,000 to Victim of Excessive Force and Unreasonable Seizure
Last week a jury awarded $90,000 to Santa Clara County resident, Aleksandr Binkovich (“Binkovich”). Binkovich sued the San Jose Police Department and several of its officers for civil rights violations under 42 U.S.C § 1983. Specifically, Binkovich sued San Jose police officers for using excessive force and conducting an unreasonable seizure in violation of his constitutional rights. Binkovich also sued the City of San Jose Police Department claiming that it failed to properly train its officers and that the Department had a custom and practice of using excessive force and conducting unreasonable seizures.
The incident with police arose from a party at Hilton Hotel in downtown San Jose. Binkovich and approximately ten of his friends were in one of the hotel rooms where they were allegedly making too much noise and drinking. Employees of the hotel called the police allegedly fearful of a physical confrontation with the group when asking them to leave. The hotel employees did ask Binkovich and his friends to leave and they did so. However, upon attempting to do so and exiting the elevator downstairs they were met by San Jose police officers.
Binkovich claimed, that without warning, he was grabbed by officers, slammed into a wall and then taken violently to the ground. Binkovich’s face made contact with the ground and his nose was bloodied. Binkovich was then taken to the police car where he was placed on the hood, in a bent over position, and aggressively searched. Binkovich was charged with battery and resisting arrest. However, those criminal charges were dropped by the prosecuting attorney for insufficient evidence.
Binkovich’s lawsuit was presented to a jury. A jury concluded that the primary officer who confronted Binkovich was guilty of using excessive force and conducted an unreasonable seizure. The jury awarded Binkovich $45,000 in general damages and another $45,000 in punitive damages to punish the officer for his reckless conduct. The jury found two other officers and the City of San Jose not liable for Binkovich’s claims against them.
The attorneys at the Piccuta Law Group, LLP have experience in handling claims against the government for violating civil rights. This includes claims for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, excessive force, police brutality, unreasonable search and seizure, among others. In asserting claims against a governmental entity there are certain deadlines by which a victim must file a government claim in order to retain the right to file a lawsuit. If you or a loved one has experienced a civil rights violation, do not delay in contacting our attorneys today to discuss your case.