This Cop Has Been Falsely Arresting Black Men and Trapping Them in Prison

fcprison

2015/10/21

For David Owens being at the wrong place at the wrong time landed him behind bars.

A New York police officer mistook him for an African American suspect and he was sent to jail for six weeks – an error in judgment that cost the man his job, emotional health and financial stability.

Now he has decided to sue the city and the officer involved for being treated unfairly.

Ironically, Owens’ lawsuit comes just a few days shy of the third anniversary of the incident that scarred him for life.

On October 23, 2012 at around 2:28 AM a woman was waiting at a train station when she felt that someone had taken her backpack from underneath her feet.

She called the police and told them the culprit was a black man wearing a hoodie. The woman was hysterical.

Not so far away, Owens was getting ready to finish his shift at Macy’s Herald Square flagship store.

It was still around 32 minutes to go before he would clock out.

Upon finishing his shift he boarded an uptown No 1 train at 34th Street.

This is when Police Officer Anthony Francavilla spotted him and decided he fit the ambiguous description of the thug given by the woman.

The distraught woman – who according to Owens’ lawsuit was unstable, probably drunk and definitely frenzied – had to be supported by officers as she testified that the innocent clerk was indeed the man who had burgled her.

Owens insisted he was not the man they were looking for; he offered to show Francavilla his time card receipt and even requested them to call his supervisor to confirm but the officer brushed this aside.

He was charged with grand larceny and locked away at Rikers for a bail of $3550. He could not afford to pay this amount and remained behind bars for six weeks.

“It messed me up,” he says looking back at his experience.

“I just hoped and prayed I wouldn’t get killed in there, and I would be able to tell my story so other people wouldn’t have to go through what I did.”

His lawyer Andrew Hoffman says what Owens went through that night and his subsequent ordeal was akin to being kidnapped.

Six weeks after his arrest, the charges against him were dropped because prosecutors could not prove their case.

A track record of rash decisions

This is not the first time that Officer Francavilla has been involved in a case where the victim claimed mistreatment at his hands.

In 2012 another African-American man Evan King, a 27-year-old who had just moved to New York from Los Angeles, was questioned by the cop at a midtown subway station.

When he asked for a reason, the officer pushed him to the ground and called him a “dick”.

King filed a court case against Francavilla and was awarded $ 30,000 late last year.

In 2011 another black man Kevin Walker sued him and managed to receive a settlement of $2,500.

The officer had called him “ghetto trash“just moments after ordering him out of a train in March 2010.

He was later arrested but prosecutors dismissed the case.

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About author

Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5648 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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