A jury trial is underway for a Brooklyn woman who was hospitalized after NYPD broke into her building without a warrant, roughed her up and left her shackled to a bed for 17 days.
Karen Brim, 44, was mopping her hallway when New York City police officers Ralph Giordano, Timothy Reilly and an unidentified third officer spotted four neighborhood teens hanging out on a roof adjacent to her building, which she has owned for more than a decade and runs a beauty salon in.
The officers chased the youths into Brim’s building, entering without a warrant through the roof.
Brim claims she identified herself as the owner of the building, informing the officers that the teens were visitors and not trespassers, demanding to know why police were there.
Officer Reilly responded by throwing her to the ground, causing such severe injuries that she needed multiple surgeries, plates and screws to fix the broken bones in her leg.
The incident took place on April 30, 2012, leaving the single mother handcuffed and shackled to her hospital bed for 17 days as an NYPD officer remained posted outside her room.
It is what they call “protective custody,” not much different than how Los Angeles police officers handled the recent case of a man the shot in the face after he had asked for help.
It meant that she was unable to receive visits from friends and family for more than two weeks.
Officials noted that the 24-hour standard for arraignment in criminal cases does not apply if the defendants are hospitalized.
“She’s not a flight risk. She cannot run out of the hospital. There’s no need to handcuff and ankle-cuff her. Being handcuffed to a bed — it’s like being a caged animal. It’s outrageous,” lawyer Marshall Bluth told The New York Post.
“It’s beyond belief. Not for one day, not for one week, but for 17 days?”
Police claim Brim attempted to hit Reilly with a broom handle and had put her hand around his neck. She was charged with assault, resisting arrest, menacing, harassment and obstructing governmental administration.
But those charges were all later dropped.
The four teens were also arrested on trespassing charges, despite protest from the owner of the building who asserted they were not trespassing.
Their charges were also dropped.
Brim filed her lawsuit in 2013, suing the city for unknown damages, claiming false arrest and unreasonable force. The trial began on Monday.