Smoker Sues After NYPD Misunderstanding

A downtown New York lawyer is suing the city of New York and the NYPD for $400,000 in damages after two officers mistakenly thought that he was attempting suicide. Mark Moody was smoking a cigarette on the ledge of his second story Peck Slip apartment when two officers stopped their car and asked Moody if he was going to jump. Although Moody explained that smoking on his ledge was his normal routine, the officers allegedly entered the apartment, subdued Moody, and sent him via ambulance to Beth Israel Medical Center. His alleged injuries are currently unknown. Moody was examined and released by the psychiatrist on call.

Paul Browne, spokesman for the NYPD, said, “Police responded to a 911 call of an emotionally disturbed person at the location. When police arrived, they observed the male sitting on the ledge talking erratically. Police Emergency Service officers were called, and the person was removed to the hospital for observation.”

“I wasn’t doing anything,” Moody said. “Maybe it should be a crime to smoke a cigarette, but at the moment it’s not.”

The basis for Moody’s lawsuit is likely the use of excessive force by the NYPD and/or a violation of his civil rights.

Website Resource:

Cops take ‘suicidal’ window ledge smoker to psych ward

New York Post, Kathianne Boniello, December 19, 2010

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