New York City Police Brutality Case Shows Why Taxpayers Shouldn’t Have to Foot the Bill for Corrupt Cops

New York City officers beats homeless man on subway train. (Credit: Dominic Lee/Twitter)
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New York City has reportedly settled a lawsuit filed by a homeless man who filed a federal lawsuit after being beaten by a police officer on the subway. Taxpayers will be paying the victim $135,000 for the assault while the offending officer will see no punishment.


The incident occurred on May 25, 2020, in which officer Adonis Long and his partner accosted the man, who went by “Joseph” to avoid retaliation. It originally led to Joseph being arrested and charged with felony assault when one of the officers claimed he had kicked one of their hands while they attempted to place him in handcuffs at a Midtown train station.

However, the bodycam footage showed a different altercation, one that contradicted the officer’s story. The City reported:

But in body camera footage first published by THE CITY weeks after the incident, cops could be seen punching Joseph in the face twice and kicking his belongings off the 6 train at 51st Street at around 12:30 a.m.

NYPD Officer Adonis Long was also seen hitting Joseph with pepper spray and putting one hand around his neck.

The footage showed Joseph crying and yelling “Stop!” as he was being held against a wall surrounded by multiple officers. He was bleeding from the side of his head. He told The City that he felt like his “heart was going to fall out” during the encounter.

Joseph’s offense? He allegedly took up more than one seat on the train, which is what prompted the officers to approach him in the first place. It’s good to know these officers are hard at work stopping these villains from sitting on the train the wrong way, isn’t it?


The Manhattan District Attorney’s office dropped the assault charges against Joseph after the reports about the footage surfaced.

Joseph’s lawsuit alleged that officer Long cut his right hand after punching the victim repeatedly while making a false arrest based on fabricated evidence. The plaintiff’s attorney, Michael Lumer, noted that Long will not be required to personally pay any of the settlement.

“This settlement speaks volumes for why some cops continue to lie and brutalize,” the attorney said. “By paying for Adonis Long’s misconduct without demanding any contribution, the city is effectively endorsing his behavior.”

He added, “Until there’s real accountability and discipline, bad cops will continue to violate the law without consequence.”

The City noted:

All told, New York City has doled out more than $1.1 billion for NYPD misconduct cases since 2015, more than any other city agency, according to the city comptroller, which tracks payouts.

In the majority of NYPD cases, police officers themselves are not on the hook to cover any civil payout, according to research by UCLA law professor Joanna Schwartz. Only 35 police officers had to personally pay during the study’s six-year period from 2006 to 2011. Of those cops, half paid less than $2,125, the study found.

Unfortunately, it appears Lumer is correct in his assessment of the situation. Long will receive no real punishment for abusing an American citizen. But guess who will be footing the bill? That’s right, the residents of New York City, who voted for law and order, but may not have considered that “law and order” tend not to apply to police officers and other government officials endowed with the authority to violate our rights when they deem it necessary.


Of course, an obvious issue to point out is that this city, like most, is governed by Democrats who claim to oppose police brutality. Yet, these issues persist. In fact, the only reason this isn’t bigger news is because officer Long is black and Joseph is white. If the races were reversed – well, you know the rest, don’t you?

But the ethnicities of those involved are irrelevant. This is about statism. This is about the government working to protect its agents. If politicians are unwilling to put measures into place that would ensure its officials are held accountable when abusing their power, they do not deserve to be in positions of leadership. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to change anytime soon.


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