Man Wrongfully Arrested for DUI in Police Cover-Up Awarded Almost a Million Dollars

Man Wrongfully Arrested for DUI in Police Cover-Up Awarded Almost a Million Dollars

According to articles reported in the NY Daily News, in April 2015, Oliver Wiggins was struck by a police cruiser that had run a red light.  Instead of offering Mr. Wiggins an apology, however, Brooklyn Police arrested him for drunk driving!  A breath test later revealed that Wiggins had consumed no alcohol, and the EMT and DWI technician involved in the arrest both indicated that Mr. Wiggins showed no signs of intoxication.  Despite this, the official narrative police report, prepared by City of Brooklyn Police Officer Justin Joseph, indicated that Mr. Wiggins had red watery eyes, slurred speech, an odor of alcohol on his breath and was swaying.  Mr. Wiggins, a native of Jamaica, claims all of this was false and was only part of an effort by Officer Joseph to cover up for his own wrongdoing!

The prosecuting attorney eventually dismissed the charges against Mr. Wiggins, but Mr. Wiggins still lost his license and had a large repair bill on his car.  His insurance company refused to cover the accident because of the DUI arrest.  Additionally, Mr. Wiggins’ lawyer claimed that he suffered an injury to his wrist.

Because of the wrongful arrest, Mr. Wiggins hired a lawyer to sue the City.  Later, and ostensibly and euphemistically to only “avoid trial,” The City of Brooklyn paid out nearly One Million Dollars in damages!  The worst part of all this is that the officers involved in this egregious abuse of power are still out there on the street making arrests.  They have not lost their jobs nor have any charges been filed against them.

While this is an extreme example, embellishment in the police reports of alleged drunk drivers often indicate things like slurred speech, bloodshot watery or glassy eyes, the strong odor of intoxicants and unsteadiness while walking is quite common. When the narrative written report is compared with the video recording of the arrest, discrepancies are often observed. These discrepancies do not, however, prevent police officers from later testifying consistent with their reports, nor do they prevent juries from believing the testimony and convicting the accused of drunk driving. The Wiggins’ case simply represents an unusually outlandish example that lead to an extreme injustice.

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