Ploski vs. City of Yonkers and Yonkers Police Department By Hezi Aris

eHezi Archives 18 Comments

AMICONE_MayorPhil2008 HARTNETT_YPDCommissionerEdmund White Plains, NY — On May 4, 2009, a jury trial began which was presided over by the Honorable William C. Connor
in the White Plains Federal Court of the Southern District of New York raising
questions of false arrest, excessive force, and questionable policies and
customs of the Yonkers Police Department (YPD).

The point that was brought forward by Steven Ploski,
represented by his attorney John A. Raimondo, alleged that on January 6, 2005,
after an alleged domestic dispute involving no physical violence, that he was
falsely arrested and subject to excessive force by YPD Police Officers Andrew Pellegrini
and John Twomey, and that his treatment, of both his arrest and the force used
resulted from the alleged longstanding unconstitutional practices of the YPD.
Mr Ploski further alleged that in connection with his arrest and treatment, he
suffered a serious injury to his back necessitating surgery.

Plaintiff’s counsel called myriad witnesses on the
plaintiff’s case, including Mayor Phil Amicone (pictured left), and YPD Police Commissioner
Edmund Hartnett (pictured right), both of whom he interrogated at length on patterns of
brutality and the failure on the part of the City of Yonkers (CoY) to
adequately investigate, train, and supervise its officers.

   Mr Raimondo examined the Mayor and Police Commissioner in a manner
which raised serious questions about their knowledge about what is happening in
the city and revealed a substantial failure on their part to acknowledge
problems within the YPD. Rather than answering many of Mr Raimondo’s questions
directly, Mayor Amicone, in many cases, evaded answering by repeating what
sounded like a mantra; namely until someone tells him there is a problem, the
mayor assumes everything is fine. Even when Mr Raimondo questioned him about a
federal investigation  into allegations
of brutality within the city the mayor categorically stated that there is no
such problem.

At the end of all the evidence, the jury was charged and
returned to the jury room. Within a few hours of deliberation, the jury
rendered a verdict finding no false arrest and no excessive force. In what is a
highly unusual decision by a federal judge, the Honorable William C. Connor
granted Mr Raimondo’s application to set aside the jury’s verdict on the ground
that the plaintiff’s case showed, as a matter of law, that Mr Ploski had been
falsely arrested in violation of the Criminal Procedure Law and that it further
resulted from a policy of and by the YPD. In addition Judge Connor took away
the question of apportionment of damages between the two officers from the jury
on the basis that the false arrest resulted from a policy of the YPD and
therefore, they would be required to pay any and all damages which the jury
might award. The judge then directed the jury to return to its deliberations on
what amount of damages should be awarded to Mr Polski in connection with his

Not long after, the jury asked the court what consequences
it would suffer if it refused to render a verdict. In this context the jury openly
expressed their distrust of the process. The judge was left with no alternative
to direct the jury to deliberate and advised that, if it failed to do so, its
members could be subject to Contempt. Not long thereafter the jury returned a
verdict awarding $1,000 in compensatory damages to Mr Ploski. Despite the
relatively small amount awarded to Mr Ploski, the judge indicated that he would
award legal fees to Mr Raimondo and require the CoY to pay them because he considered
the plaintiff to be a prevailing party in the action.

Although Yonkers Corporation Counsel Frank Rubino has advised
some of the press that he considers the result to be a total victory, it
appears that he has intentionally overlooked the significant findings of the
court including its decision to award legal fees to the Plaintiff’s lawyer.
Curiously Mr Rubino appears to be focused on the dollar amount awarded to Mr Ploski,
rather than the significance of the merits of Ploski’s case, which in large
part Mr Ploski prevailed upon.

In summary, it appears that the findings in this case are a
significant step towards vindication of the long standing civil rights
violations which have been alleged against the CoY and its police department.

eHeziPloski vs. City of Yonkers and Yonkers Police Department By Hezi Aris

Comments 18

  1. To “Nobody” or Plotski. I don’t work for the city, and I have crticized the city in any number of posts, including current ones.
    Plotski is what he is. And that is a nut job with no credibility.

  2. Is this the same Ploski who called in a bomb scare ( a felony)during a Democratic political convention in Yonkers????


  4. Plotski has what I called in an earlier post “a checkered history.” I was being polite. Plotski is a nut job. And that sounds sounds like him posting as “the never forgotten.”
    He LOST. L-0-S-T. And he is trying to spin it to make it sound like he didn’t LOSE. But the loser Plotski L-0-S-T. All his babble doesn’t change that fact.

  5. What’s the story with Gerry Esposito? How is she allowed to run for political office when she is an employee of the NYS Unified Court System and is restricted from running in partisan elections under the Hatch Act?
    Is the press asleep?

  6. The yonkers political grapevine says ploski was offered well into the six figures and refused it. He didnt want to keep another crime by the administration and police be buried and let others suffer with no end in sight. I also hear that he probally wont give up till the nuts and bolts in is back rust away and that he has found other criminal acts the administration has committed against the parchment of the our founding fathers.

  7. The cops admitted guilt on the stand in court. The judge had to over turn the jury because of the over whelming proof and the officer admitting to falsely arresting Ploski. They broke his back and had to be put together with steel rods and screws.
    The jury foreman argured with the judge cause the jury refused to follow directions of the court. The jury stated we wont find guilt on a cop and we wont award for it either for it will show guilt of a cop. The city was found to have violated 4th amentment rights
    and new york state law, by teaching cops to ignore these special rights given to us by our founding fathers and the city would pay for any problems arising out of amendment violations. They teach cops that city policy over rides state and or federal and constitutional law.
    So city hall bloggers stop with the personal attacks on the victor of the merits
    of the case to cover your own Im above the law tracks. All in the city should have seen the mayor on the stand lying that there is no police problems in the city(what city was he talking about)That there is no policy that he knows of that over rides anything. That there is no federal investagation into police practices in yonkers. That no elected offical or offical body of yonkers has ever questioned about police practices in the city and called for a independent blue ribbon committee. Phil’s answer was we have a indepenent committee made up of 4 cops and 4 citizens. When asked who picked this independent committee
    answer was the police commissiner, now thats what I call independent, hand picked. How he stated that if there was a problem it was because of John Spencer for he made the policy the police now follow, wait Phil I thought you said there are no policies the police follow? Do I hear purjury tip toeing around the corner?
    Wait till the transcrips come out Phil and most of his administration will be a laughing stock for years to come. The mayor, the commisiner and head of internal affiars all had different stories with different dates at different meetings or meetings they could never agree on if they did or did not happen. Silly philly even said dont beleive the papers, the tv the blogs or any news they all lie, only ask me I’m the only truth to listen to. Phil your a damm liar and a sociopath! We would have more honesty in this city if dick cheny was our mayor.

  8. There goes Liam’s new puppet, Hezi, again. pull the strings and make him dance. Put words in his head and make him write. Be a good little puppet now Hezi, or you’ll get your strings clipped.

  9. Ploski is the same guy who ran against Senator Nick Spano 5 or 6 times……lost each and every time too.
    Ploski is a loud mouth contractor who blames everyone else for his behavior.
    Pitty the fool……….

  10. Connor should be tossed off the bench and disbarred. He’s nothing but a senile old gasbag. He decided the case at the outset, and when it didn’t go the way he wanted, he actually got into an argument with the jury foreperson over it. Any state judge would be gone over anything even approaching this level of malfeasance and misconduct. He is a buffoon and a bully.

  11. The mayor stated he thinks everything is running fine until somebody tells him otherwise. Well, I guess nobody ever told him there is a problem giving out all these take home cars.

  12. So this criminal asked for a jury trial, the jury found that his case had no merrit, and A judge so old that his father could have legally owned slaves in this country overturns the Jury’s findings?
    This old man whould be playing shuffleboard in Florida somewhere with white dress slacks and aligator shoes on. NOT sitting as an active Federal Judge

  13. Why is there always a mystery surounding YPD when it comes to their bully tactics on people they interact with or arrest? It’s always bad news

  14. With all due respect, this story is a joke. You had an 89-year old judge who couldn’t hear well overturning a jury verdict which held YPD completely blameless. The jury foreman even argued with the judge. The jury was not happy with the judge.
    This article should be about a fouled-up court system which allows 89-year-old Federal judges, who are declining, but who have lifetime appointments, to remain on the bench. There should be mandatory retirement at maybe 80 years of age. That’s what the story should be about.
    Plotski’s checkered history also entered into this case, but didn’t make into the article. So what is the bottom line? Yonkers won, and Plotski LOST. The judge, and only the judge, was responsible for legal fees being paid to Plotski’s lawyer. The jury wanted to give NOTHING.

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