Andrew Laufer

Andrew C. Laufer Discusses Law Enforcement in the U.S.

in Opinion

Andrew C. Laufer studied Political Science at the State University in Albany and earned his Bachelor’s degree. He attended Quinnipiac University to become a lawyer, and before opening his law firm in 2000, he worked for the prestigious law firms, Hartman & Craven and Jaffe & Asher, in Manhattan. Mr. Laufer is experienced in personal injury, commercial and corporate law, real estate and corporate transactional work, and real estate litigation. Hundreds of clients have been helped by the Law Office of Mr. Laufer from settling multimillion dollar disputes to property transfers. While his primary focus is on civil rights litigation and personal injury he takes the victims of police brutality, prosecution, and police misconduct in particular regard.

Mr. Laufer has given lectures to lawyers regarding cases involving police brutality litigation, and his cases have been heard in both state and federal courts. He is on the board for the State Trial Lawyers Association in New York, belongs to the Police Accountability Project, has appeared on television regarding police brutality, and given exceptional interviews used for print. His experience with these types of cases is extensive, and he has a history of good results regarding cases of police brutality.

Q: Why are you so passionate about the cause of police brutality?

I am extremely aggressive in police brutality cases because I believe when an individual is stopped without reason by the police it is a fundamental violation of their civil rights and therefore extremely offensive. Individuals must be allowed to walk down a street without a police officer harassing them. I have seen individuals who did not resist arrest still receive punches and broken noses under the excuse of probable cause. I know the power of correctional officers and law enforcement can be abused because I have seen it. As in any industry, there are both good and bad people.

Q: What is your stance on malicious prosecution?

I feel this is the ultimate indignity. Too many innocent individuals face prosecution even though they did not commit the crime. Malicious prosecution takes away an individuals finances and time and can destroy their life. Anyone placed in this position should consult an attorney immediately.

Q: Why have you become involved in so many wrongful arrest cases?

Too many individuals have been arrested by police officers without any legal justification. Qualified immunity is a doctrine that protects government officials and police officers from lawsuits regarding false arrests. When the action of the official is considered discretionary, they are protected from any liability. The protection becomes void if the officer violated the established laws. I will fight for an individual when a warrant has been issued against them, despite them being the wrong person. The example I often use is the 2002 case of Sorrell vs. McGuigan. Crispin Sorrell was detained by Officer McGuigan due to the description of a robbery suspect and searched for weapons. Sorrell was arrested despite the fact the victim of the robbery told Officer McGuigan he had the wrong man. After booking, Sorrell was released and not prosecuted. Sorrell filed a lawsuit for false arrest, and the court denied the qualified immunity of the officer. Cases like these are why I am dedicated to seeking justice for my clients.

Q: You have often spoken out against the NYPD, explain why?

There is a lengthy and terrible history of abuse against New York Citizens perpetrated by the NYPD. The City of New York had to pay $735 million in 2012 to citizens suffering from abuse caused by the NYPD. There are many documented cases including the Louima case, the Diallo case, and more currently, a man with no weapon was killed in his car near Grand Central after being shot by the NYPD. Several reports, as well as the Knapp Commission, have documented these abuses. They have demonstrated the abuses of the NYPD efficiently and shown how the citizens suffered the consequences. These were the people the NYPD have sworn they would protect. There are thousands of lawsuits filed by the citizens of New York every year for numerous abuses. One case that especially caught my attention was a woman with absolutely no record. She was placed under arrest by the NYPD for smoking marijuana and held for four hours. She had to be rushed to the hospital because the precinct refused to give her necessary medication. She pleaded for her medication, was ignored, and nearly lost her life. These are the people I am so passionate about fighting for.

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