Prison chaplain receives $4M after NYPD cop breaks his leg
A prison chaplain was awarded $3.95 million earlier this month after an NYPD officer broke his leg during a 2010 arrest.
Christopher Graham underwent two surgeries to repair a broken tibia and fibula, and suffers from post-traumatic arthritis following the assault.
Police were called to Graham's Crown Heights apartment four years ago after his girlfriend reported a domestic dispute.
The 51-year-old claimed that upon entering the residence, Officers Paul Aparo and Michael Stumbo immediately began attacking him.
"They pulled [my] hat off my head and pulled dreadlocks out of my head," Graham said, according to the New York Daily News.
"They slammed me to the floor and held me down. One of them was stepping on my neck and my face. The other one was trying to break my leg."
Graham conteded that Officer Aparo intentionally twisted his leg until it broke.
"He was turning my leg, left and right. I was screaming and banging on the floor. Then I heard a snap," he recounted. "Even after my leg breaks they were still beating my [expletive]."
The officers found out that Graham was a Corrections Department chaplain while he was in the 77th precinct.
"Then everything changed," he insisted. "They thought I was some thug, but now I'm a state chaplain. I knew from the minute this happened I would sue because I know who I am. I did not do anything."
Charges of misdemeanor assault, menacing, criminal possession of a weapon, resisting arrest and harassment were dropped.
During the trial against the police department, the officers gave differing accounts of how Graham was injured, according to his attorney, Ray Gazer. A Brooklyn jury took less than an hour to rule in his favour.
Corporation Counsel spokesman Nicholas Paolucci said the city is "evaluating all of our options for challenging the verdict."
Although Graham won the civil suit, the officers involved may not suffer any repercussions.
"We review, in a variety of ways, all allegations of officer misconduct," Deputy Chief Kim Royster explained.
"A [verdict in] a civil case does not constitute a finding or even evidence that an officer has engaged in any misconduct."