Make your own free website on
Wage Increases - Retroactive Pay - New Contract Stuff



Please be mindful of the extreme heat and take measures to help alleviate some of the stresses and danger associated with working under such taxing conditions.  NYCOSH offers this advice:

Assault and Battery: Handcuffs & Restraints - Submitted by BTO Fred Skepner, QMT

(Thanks Fred)

FYI -Case summaries on use of handcuffs - 

     Officer's alleged over-tightening of arrestee's handcuffs did not constitute excessive force when the arrestee failed to complain that they were too tight at the time, and no physical injury occurred. Liiv v. City of Coeur D'alene, No. 03-35821, 130 Fed. Appx. 848 (9th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     Police officer whose improper application of handcuffs to arrested 16-year-old allegedly caused a 1.3% permanent impairment was not entitled to a directed verdict in an excessive force lawsuit. Plaintiff was properly awarded $153,000 in damages and $51,692.15 in attorneys' fees. Hanig v. Lee, No. 04-2758, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 14436 (8th Cir.). [2005 LR Sep]
     While police officer had adequate probable cause to arrest motorist for reckless driving after observing her going 76 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone, genuine issues as to whether he improperly used excessive force against her after she was handcuffed, jerking her up by the handcuffs in a manner severe enough to cause a disabling injury, barred summary judgment for him in her federal civil rights lawsuit. Polk v. Hopkins, #04-1130, 129 Fed. Appx. 285 (6th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     Officers did not use excessive force in the course of handcuffing a motorist arrested for a non-violent traffic offense, even though she had a reverse shoulder prosthesis in her shoulder, and suffered a broken humerus when her hands were handcuffed behind her back. Evidence showed that the arrestee smelled of alcohol, refused to take field sobriety tests, was "combative" during her handcuffing and detention, and failed to inform the officers of the prosthesis until after the handcuffing process had begun. Schultz v. Hall, No. 3:04CV242, 365 F. Supp. 2d 1218 (N.D. Fla. 2005). [N/R]
     Officers acted reasonably in handcuffing and detaining a minor girl even if they were aware of her mental disability of Down's Syndrome, when she had failed to comply with their instructions and had produced a gun from her pocket in the course of their investigation of someone knocking on doors in the neighborhood while possibly holding a gun. Further, she was only detained for approximately four and one-half minutes and handcuffed for one and one-half minutes. Tenorio v. City of Hobbs, No. 04-2103, 113 Fed. Appx. 879 (10th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     Officer whose attempt to handcuff woman being arrested for trespass in movie theater and assaulting an officer resulted in a broken arm was not entitled to qualified immunity from her excessive force claim. Solomon v. Auburn Hills Police Dept., No. 03-1707 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 23786 (6th Cir. 2004). [2005 LR Feb]
     Deputy acted in an objectively reasonable manner in putting his foot on an arrestee's face when he raised his head as he lay on the ground being handcuffed after disobeying orders to immediately drop his shotgun. The arrestee was "not docile," and subsequently was found to possess another gun on his person. Crosby v. Monroe County, No. 03-13716, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 26973 (11th Cir. 2004). [2005 LR Feb]
     While an arrestee's claim that officers used excessive force against him after handcuffing him could move forward, based on genuine issues of fact as to what happened, and whether officers were entitled to qualified immunity from liability, the plaintiff failed to make any showing that an official policy or custom of the city or its police department led to his injuries. Claims for municipal liability, therefore, were properly rejected. Arrestee's testimony in a deposition that he "might" have been yelling and waving his arms, and making a fist at the officers as he approached them, and his admission that he reached for one officer's gun belt and touched it, warranted summary judgment for the defendant officers on his claims that they also used excessive force against him prior to handcuffing him. Ross v. City of Toppenish, No. 03-35234, 104 Fed. Appx. 26 (9th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     Arresting officers were not entitled to qualified immunity from arrestee's claim that they used excessive force in insisting on handcuffing her with her hands behind her back despite the fact that she was unarmed, was not resisting arrest and had allegedly informed them that she had a disability stemming from having undergone shoulder fusion preventing her from placing her hands behind her back to be handcuffed. The arrest was for loitering for purposes of prostitution. Court finds that reasonable officers should have known that it was unreasonable to proceed with forcibly handcuffing her under these circumstances without further inquiry into her disabling condition. Rex v. City of Milwaukee, 321 F. Supp. 2d 1008 (E.D. Wis. 2004). [N/R]
     Federal appeals court finds that trial judge, in granting qualified immunity to deputy on dentist's claim that he was arrested without probable cause, and wrongfully subjected to handcuffing so tight that the injuries required him to leave his profession, improperly acted "as a jury" in choosing to believe deputy's version of the incident rather than the plaintiff's. Court also finds that it is "well-established" law that overly tight handcuffing can constitute excessive force. Wall v. County of Orange, #02-56032, 364 F.3d 1107 (9th Cir. 2004). [2004 LR Jul]
     Deputy sheriff acted in good faith entitling him to official immunity under Texas state law on claims for injury asserted by mental patient he restrained and handcuffed for purposes of transport to mental health facility. Hidalgo County v. Gonzalez, No. 13-03-00131-CV, 128 S.W.3d 788 (Tex. App. --Corpus Christi--2004). [N/R]
     Police officers did not violate the Fourth Amendment rights of mental patient they placed in wrist and ankle restraints at the request of mental health facility staff members. Patient's history of violent outbursts and mental conditions made the action reasonable. Officers were also entitled to qualified immunity for allegedly leaving patient in restraints when they left, after being told by staff that patient was about to be escorted to another facility. Lucero v. City of Albuquerque, No. 02-2280, 77 Fed Appx. 470 (10th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
     Officer was improperly granted summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity on claim that he used excessive force in the course of handcuffing suspect arrested under "rather benign circumstances," when a reasonable officer would know that this violates the Fourth Amendment. Kopec v. Tate, No. 02-4188, 361 F.3d 772 (3d Cir. 2004). [2004 LR May]
     Arrestee's claim that his wrists were "sore," although uninjured, following his allegedly tight handcuffing, was not objectively sufficient for a federal civil rights claim for excessive use of force. Wilder v. Village of Amityville, 288 F. Supp. 2d 341 (E.D.N.Y. 2003). [N/R]
     Claim that deputy sheriff "violently handcuffed" arrestee, causing physical injury, and that there was no justification for his action, was sufficient to state a claim for excessive use of force. Mladek v. Day, 293 F. Supp. 3d 1297 (M.D. Ga. 2003). [N/R]
     Surgeon awarded $33 million in damages for permanent nerve damage to hand, resulting in inability to perform surgery unassisted, following tight handcuffing when detained by Los Angeles police who mistakenly believed that the rental car he was driving was stolen. Police department responsible for $14.2 million of award, with rental car firm which placed license plates on car which were reported stolen to pay $18.8 million. Gousse v. City of Los Angeles, No. BC252804, Superior Court of Los Angeles County, filed June 21, 2001, jury award, November 19, 2003. Reported in the Los Angeles Times, November 20, 2003. [2004 LR Jan]
     Use of hog-tie restraint against arrestee who had a head wound and had been sprayed with pepper spray, and was also allegedly compliant at the time of the restraint, was an excessive use of force, and officers were not entitled to qualified immunity from possible liability for arrestee's subsequent death from positional asphyxia. There was also evidence to show that county officers widely used hog-tie restraints but that no training in the use of such restraints was provided. Garrett v. Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County, 246 F. Supp. 2d 1262 (M.D. Ga. 2003). [2003 LR Jul]
     Officers were not entitled to qualified immunity on a claim that they kept two apartment occupants handcuffed for two hours while their apartment was being searched under a warrant. The complaint alleged that they were kept handcuffed long after the officers had reason to believe that they were not connected with persons sought in connection with a shooting. Seaman v. Karr, #27935-5-II, 59 P.3d 701 (Wash. App. 2002). [N/R]
     Arrestee, who was "thoroughly uncooperative" and allegedly intoxicated, did not have a "clearly established" Fourth Amendment right not to be tightly handcuffed, since various federal trial and appeals courts disagreed on the issue. Istvanik v. Rogge, #01-3395, 50 Fed. Appx. 533 (3rd Cir. 2002). [2003 LR Mar]
     Medical records did not support arrestee's claim that highway patrol officer used excessive force in handcuffing him following arrest for failure to produce driver's license. Arrestee claimed that handcuffs were so tight that his hands turned "blue," but medical records indicated a "pink" color to his hands on the night of the arrest. Andrews v. Elkins, 227 F. Supp. 2d 488 (M.D.N.C. 2002). [N/R]
     Officer's alleged delay in loosening handcuffs for approximately ten minutes after arrestee complained that they were too tight, even if true, did not violate the arrestee's clearly established rights, so that the officer was entitled to qualified immunity from liability. Kopec v. Tate, 230 F. Supp. 2d 619 (E.D. Pa. 2002). [N/R]
     City could not be held responsible for arrestee's injuries from officer's alleged excessive use of force while arresting and handcuffing motorist when officer's actions, if they occurred, would have clearly violated the city's policies and training that officers received regarding the use of force. The possibility that the officer was not taught a particular procedure for taking a handcuffed suspect to the ground did not alter the result, particularly when there was no evidence of other similar incidents. Nelson v. City of Wichita, 217 F. Supp. 2d 1179 (D. Kan. 2002). [2003 LR Feb.]
     Deputy sheriff's alleged action in handcuffing an arrestee "too tightly" and refusing to loosen the handcuffs after learning that the arrestee had preexisting arm and shoulder injuries would have violated clearly established law. Turek v. Saluga, #01-3986, 01-4018, 47 Fed. Appx. 746 (6th Cir. 2002). [2003 LR Jan]
     Mere fact that an arrestee was handcuffed did not mean that police officer acted excessively in using any amount of force. Officer was justified in using more force than would ordinarily be necessary based on arrestee's active resistance and the location of the incident in which the officer was alone at night on a "lonely stretch of country road." Youngblood v. Wood, #01-3109, 41 Fed. Appx. 894 (7th Cir. 2002).[2002 LR Dec]
     Arresting officer did not use excessive force in handcuffing arrestee despite his claim that his arm was injured. Officer "need not credit everything a suspect tells him," and arrestee displayed no obvious signs of physical injury. Rodriguez v. Farrell, #00-13147, 294 F.3d 1276 (11th Cir. 2002). [2002 LR Oct]
     Defendant officers were not entitled to summary judgment on the issue of whether they used excessive force in handcuffing a suspect and carrying him to a vehicle, but their use of a four-point restraint to tie his arms and legs together when he continued to resist efforts to control him did not constitute excessive use of force. Tobias v. County of Putnam, 191 F. Supp. 2d 364 (S.D.N.Y. 2002). [N/R]
     City held liable by jury for $1 million for death of disabled detainee who fell face forward on the sidewalk after officers took away his cane and handcuffed him behind his back when he allegedly became verbally resistant to them. The officers argued that the decedent had fallen without warning and that he may have died of acute alcohol intoxication, or suffered a seizure or black out which caused him to fall. Eady v. City of Los Angeles, No. TC 014-169 (Los Angeles Co., Calif. Superior Court, May 8, 2002), reported in The National Law Journal, p. B3 (July 22, 2002). [N/R]
     A genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether officers should have known, objectively, that they were putting the handcuffs on a detained person so tightly that they would cut into her skin and cause permanent damage, but officers' subsequent use of force to push detainee to her knees and place her in restraints at a hospital where she was involuntarily admitted was not excessive. Threlkeld v. White Castle Systems, Inc., 201 F. Supp. 2d 834 (N.D. Ill. 2002). [N/R]
     Officers' use of handcuffs during an investigatory stop of a suspect who fled from officers in a high crime area where there had recently been a shooting of a police officer by an individual with a machine gun and who had made a motion as though he were carrying a weapon was not an excessive use of force. Officers' display of their weapons during the stop was also justified. Mearday v. City of Chicago, 196 F. Supp. 2d 700 (N.D. Ill. 2002). [N/R]
     Arrestee was entitled to a new trial in his excessive force lawsuit against the arresting officer when jury was wrongly instructed that it must find that the arrestee suffered a "serious injury" to find for the plaintiff. Bastien v. Goddard, No. 00-2224, 279 F.3d 10 (1st Cir. 2002). [2002 LR Jun]
     Arrestee did not succeed in showing that officer used excessive force in the application of handcuffs during the arrest. Under the evidence presented, it was reasonable for officers to conclude that their suggestion of leaning forward in the police car had relieved the arrestee's pain, and his complaints were "similar to those normally voiced by others who are similarly restrained." Ostrander v. State of New York, 735 N.Y.S.2d 163 (A.D. 2001). [N/R]
           347:163 Seventh-grade student handcuffed by police officer in principal's office after he allegedly attacked principal and stepped on officer's foot could not recover damages for "excessive force" in the absence of physical injury from the handcuffing; officer and principal were entitled to qualified immunity. Neague v. Cynkar, No. 99- 4533, 258 F.3d 504 (6th Cir. 2001).
     343:99 Overly tight application of handcuffs on a nonviolent detainee may be excessive use of force, in the absence of any indication that detainee would resist or attempt to flee. Kostrzewa v. City of Troy, #00-1037, 247 F.3d 633 (6th Cir. 2001).
     EDITOR'S NOTE: See also: Soares v. Connecticut, 8 F.3d 917 (2nd Cir. 1993) (refusing to hold that handcuffing is per se reasonable).
     343:99 Woman arrested following physical altercation with her daughter was not subjected to excessive force merely because of "handcuffing too tightly"; officers' conduct did not amount to disability discrimination just because arrestee suffered from multiple sclerosis. Glenn v. City of Tyler, #00-40133, 242 F.3d 307 (5th Cir. 2001).
     341:68 Officer acted objectively reasonably in handcuffing motorist who eluded capture for thirty-to-forty minutes; motorist's alleged injuries from handcuffing were not significant enough to support an inference of excessive force. Krider v. Marshall, 118 F. Supp. 2d 704 (S.D.W.Va. 2000).
     [N/R] Trial court erred in preventing jury from hearing testimony from officer that the technique he used in handcuffing an arrestee was in accordance with official department policy. LaLonde v. County of Riverside, No. 98- 55887, 204 F.3d 947 (9th Cir. 2000).
     326:21 Louisiana trial court properly awarded $90,000 lump amount (to be reduced by 1/3 for plaintiff's degree of fault) to motorist allegedly injured by "too tight" handcuffing after he attempted to leave the scene while officer was writing traffic tickets; state Supreme Court rules, however, that motorist was not entitled to an additional $89,600 for psychiatric expenses, since therapy concerned many matters, such as his marriage and father's death. Bryan v. City of New Orleans, No. 98-1263, 737 So. 2d 696 (La. 1999).
     Injuries to an arrestee, including a bloody lip, a red mark and swelling on the leg, and pain resulting from overly-restrictive handcuffs was insufficient to predicate liability. Hamilton v. Broomfield, #95 Civ. 3241, 1998 WL 17697 ( S.D.N.Y.). {N/R}
     317:68 Handcuffing of 9-year-old girl taken into custody for throwing acorns at apartment window did not constitute an assault or excessive use of force; minor was not injured and purpose of handcuffing her was protective. Brach v. McGeeney, 123 Md. App. 330, 718 A.2d 631 (1998).
     317:67 City could not be held liable for inadequate training or supervision concerning arrests for disorderly conduct or proper use of handcuffs when plaintiff failed to show a record of prior incidents which would indicate deliberate indifference to a known problem. Gold v. City of Miami, #96-5395, 151 F.3d 1346 (11th Cir. 1998).
     315:35 County policy of handcuffing all arrestees was "inherently reasonable" in light of possible risks of not doing so; handcuffing arrestee suffering from asthma was not excessive force. Limbert v. Twin Falls County, 955 P.2d 1123 (Idaho App. 1998).
     Placing leg shackles on arrestee was not unreasonable despite her statement that she had a "problem" with her leg. Lear v. Township of Piscataway, 566 A.2d 557 (NJ Super AD 1989).
     Officers sued for handcuffing arrestee so tightly that his wrists bled Lake v. Katter, 693 F.2d 677 (7th Cir. 1982).
     Missouri court upholds officer's right to handcuff non resisting arrestee Healy v. City of Brentwood, 649 S.W.2d 916 (Mo App. 1983).
     Deputy sheriff liable for $15,000 for using excessive force when he handcuffed persons with little justification for making an arrest Bauer, v. Norris, 713 F.2d 408 (8th Cir. 1983).
     City could be liable for method of handcuffing arrestees in paddy wagons causing injuries; city could also be liable if it had a policy of covering up police misconduct Brown v. City of Chicago, 573 F.Supp. 1375 (N.D.Ill. 1983).
     No liability for death of arrestee who died of asphyxiation after being cradle cuffed Vizbaras v. Prieber, 761 F.2d 1013 (4th Cir. 1985).

SAFETY ALERT Handcuff Ring Key
This "Handcuff Ring Key" was discovered by San Gabriel Police Officers during a vehicle traffic stop. The suspect was arrested for DUI and was later discovered to have two outstanding homicide warrants. The key can easily be hidden if the ring is rolled around the finger so that the key is to the inside of the hand. The ring had the appearance of a gold wedding band.



Do you have some informational material that may be helpful to our Membership? Please e-mail us with that information and we will review it for possible use here on BTOBA WEB.
Thank you.

Enter supporting content here