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The city blinks: Evelyn Warren civil rights case settled

NAYABA ARINDE Amsterdam News Editor | 5/17/2012, 11:09 a.m.

"They were justly compensated," Moore told the AmNews. "It was large enough that the city knows that there was wrongdoing by these officers, but the remaining question is whether the city will do something about these officers. This is only one of several cases these officers are all involved in--they all have two or three lawsuits against them."

Even in light of the city virtually admitting that what the officers did was so egregious they had to fork over a substantial amount of money to correct it, Moore stated, "Talvy was promoted to lieutenant, a lot of the officers were promoted to detective, so they felt no hindrance to their careers. And that's what's unfortunate about it.

"They've paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars to victims because of these same officers."

The young man involved in the violent arrest that caught the Warrens' eye also sued and ended up receiving $45,0000, said Moore.

"Still, the city won't do anything. They won't look at the incident and say, 'Maybe we've got a problem here.' It's the cost of business. Like they are going to keep stopping and frisking 800,000 people a year now. The [message is] they can act with impunity.

"The only reason Mr. and Mrs. Warren aren't dead today is because they acted with tremendous self-restraint when they were attacked by Sgt. Talvy and his officers. There is an atmosphere of lawlessness that exists in the Police Department and Commissioner [Raymond] Kelly and Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg don't want to deal with it," Moore said.

Michael Warren told the AmNews, "I wanted to fight this case because I think it is important--if any member of our community is affected adversely by the acts of the police, it's important that there is a trial -- a public hearing--to occur, so that public can witness firsthand what has taken place that gave rise to that injustice."

In a scathing attack, he continued, "Those people who are in positions of leadership have not come out and spoken forcefully on these issues, because a lot of them have been compromised in one way or another, and I think that is the foul legacy of the Bloomberg administration. He has co-opted, through his money, certain individuals and paralyzed or immobilized them in terms of preventing them in engaging in activities that challenge the policies of his Police Department."

Barely pausing to savor their win against the city, NYPD and Police Commissioner Kelly, Evelyn Warren said that, looking forward, "People in the community need to demand that, as part of his or her platform, any mayoral candidate addresses not just violence against The Community but also stop and frisk, which is a form of violence."

"The settlement agreed to by Michael and Evelyn Warren is a real victory for the countless number of individuals who valiantly and vigorously assert and defend their God-given and constitutional rights, even in the face of a seemingly omnipotent government agency," said retired detective Marq Claxton, founder of the Black Law Enforcement Alliance.

"I'm sure it has been an arduous and emotionally taxing process for the Warrens, but they stayed the course and provided us all with a blueprint for challenging a police department's perceived immunity from prosecution for systemic constitutional violations," Claxton said. "This legal journey began because the Warrens didn't remain silent when they witnessed police abuse. The larger community must exert that same level of courage to challenge not only the individual police officers, but the system that encourages the abuse."