A Brooklyn federal jury acquitted a man of illegal possession of a gun after he claimed that the police had actually recovered the gun from an informant, awarding him $560,000 in damages.
Leroy Davis, 34, has a long list of crimes on his record, including robbery and other gun charges. He filed this lawsuit while serving 13 months in prison for this charge.
In 2009, cops claim that they heard a metallic sound when Davis drop a black plastic bag on the street in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, where they were cruising in an unmarked patrol car.
The officers said they found a 9-mm handgun and 18 bags of crack cocaine in the bag. But Davis and his lawyers argued that an informant was the source of the contraband. Davis walked away with $418,000 in punitive damages and $54,000 in liability payments for the officers’ alleged misrepresentation of the facts and false arrest.
The opposing side was not convinced of the jury’s decision.
“We stand by the officers and feel the jury reached the wrong conclusion,” said city lawyer Duane Blackman.
According to the New York Post, Davis originally won a 2010 federal case about the charge, with his lawyers arguing that the police had found it during an illegal search of his home, and that it didn’t belong to him. Then, Davis filed a federal civil case against the police for the same incident, saying his civil rights had been violated and demanding compensation. He was serving time for a larceny case and for assaulting a Rikers Island corrections officer.
One of Davis’ attorneys, James Neville, told the Post that the jurors did not know of Davis’ previous crimes, or other allegations of misconducts against the police officers.
“I’m glad Mr. Davis could get a measure of justice in this case,” Neville said.
Davis still faces illegal gun charges in North Carolina.