A Brooklyn man was awarded $5,000 from New York City after menacing New York Police Department officers with a machete and then being shot in the leg by one of them.
Ruhim Ullah, 24, originally pleaded guilty to menacing a police officer, but later sued the department for $3 million, a lawsuit in which Ullah's lawyer stated, "This may have been a justified shooting."
Ullah accused the officers of wrongdoing, despite witnesses stating the opposite. Even though it was what seemed an open and shut case, the city paid off the plaintiff with a $5,000 settlement, hoping to make the frivolous case disappear forever.
Law enforcement in the city are now worried about the kind of message the settlement sends to other perpetrators and the NYPD, which may now have to deal with similar threats.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said, "Our officers did absolutely nothing wrong and it's outrageous that, if that story, as written is accurate, the city law department is continuing to not support the men and women of this department as they go about their duties and do those duties." Bratton is expected to meet with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Jan. 29.
This is not the first case in which the city's law department has made payouts. The city has paid out nearly $150 million in cases involving minority discrimination in the fire department application process, the well-known Central Park Five case, and protestors who were arrested in 2004 when the Republican National Convention was held in Manhattan.