University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Wood v. De Blasio PN-NY-0058
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-10541 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Policing
Special Collection Police Violence Protests (Spring/Summer 2020)
Case Summary
The plaintiff, a 31-year-old resident of Queens, New York, brought this lawsuit against the City of New York and the New York City Police Department on December 14, 2020 in the Southern District of New York. The complaint alleged that NYPD officers, with the approval of their supervisors, regularly ... read more >
The plaintiff, a 31-year-old resident of Queens, New York, brought this lawsuit against the City of New York and the New York City Police Department on December 14, 2020 in the Southern District of New York. The complaint alleged that NYPD officers, with the approval of their supervisors, regularly used excessive force against and falsely arrested peaceful protesters during the widespread racial justice protests that took place in the summer of 2020. The plaintiff specifically alleged that on June 4, 2020, while he participated peacefully in a protest in Mott Haven, NYPD officers struck the plaintiff with a baton before throwing him facedown to the ground and handcuffing him tightly with plastic zip ties. The plaintiff further alleged that officers left the zip ties in place for several hours while transporting him to Queens Central Booking and processing him for arrest, leading to significant pain and swelling in his hand. According to the complaint, the plaintiff was then held overnight in a cramped cell without food or water.

The plaintiff sued under 42 U.S.C § 1983 alleging excessive force and unlawful seizure in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as retaliation for the exercise of First Amendment rights. In addition to claims against NYPD officers, the plaintiff brought claims against Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, and NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan for their personal supervisory involvement in the alleged policy of excessive force. The complaint also asserted municipal liability on the part of the City of New York based on a policy, custom, or usage of excessive force and retaliation against peaceful protesters. Plaintiff sought compensatory and punitive damages, reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees, and any other relief the Court deemed just and proper.

The case was related to Payne v. DiBlasio and assigned to Judge Colleen McMahon on December 15, 2020. Judge McMahon consolidated this case with three other police conduct cases (Payne, Sow v. City of New York, and People of New York v. New York), for pre-trial purposes. On February 4, 2021, the case was referred to Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein. On March 3, the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York moved to intervene in the case. Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on March 5, seeking class action certification and adding additional claims of assault, battery, and false imprisonment under the common law. As of March 16, 2021, the case remains pending in the District Court.

Rachel Harrington - 03/16/2021


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Excessive force
Failure to discipline
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
False arrest
Over/Unlawful Detention
Pepper/OC spray
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
State law
Defendant(s) City of New York
Plaintiff Description A Queens, New York resident, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, who alleged that NYPD officers violated protesters' constitutional rights during protests against systemic racism and police violence.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 12/14/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PN-NY-0054 : People of New York v. New York (S.D.N.Y.)
PN-NY-0057 : Payne v. de Blasio (S.D.N.Y.)
PN-NY-0059 : Sow v. City of New York (S.D.N.Y.)
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
S.D.N.Y.
03/10/2021
1:20-cv-10541-CM
PN-NY-0058-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
S.D.N.Y.
12/14/2020
Complaint and Jury Demand [ECF# 1]
PN-NY-0058-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D.N.Y.
03/05/2021
Wood First Amended Class Action Complaint and Jury Demand [ECF# 48]
PN-NY-0058-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Gorenstein, Gabriel W. (S.D.N.Y.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
PN-NY-0058-9000
McMahon, Colleen (S.D.N.Y.) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0058-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Lieb, Douglas E. (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0058-0001 | PN-NY-0058-0002 | PN-NY-0058-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Dolan, Richard Henry (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0058-9000
Goykadosh, Brachah (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0058-9000
Kissane, Thomas Aquinas (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0058-9000
Smith, Robert S. (New York) show/hide docs
PN-NY-0058-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -