$695,000 Settlement following audio recording of police brutality in the Man’s home
LANSING – On March 18, 2009, at 4:10 a.m., two Westland police officers arrived at the home of Jeffery and Marlyn Kodlowski in response to verbal dispute over a cellular telephone.
After being invited into the home by Jeffery Kodlowski, the two officers, Michael Little and Kyle Dawley, immediately determined that no crime had occurred, but chose to remain against Jeffery Kodlowski’s pleas for the officers to leave.
The entire incident that followed was captured on audio recordings obtained by Jeffery Kodlowski’s attorney, Joseph P. Corriveau.
While inside the home, the two officers verbally berated Mr. Kodlowski in an aggressive, rude, and threatening manner, prior to using excessive force. After battering Mr. Kodlowski with punches, and strikes to his head with an impact weapon, the officers handcuffed Mr. Kodlowski and transported him to the hospital for medical treatment.
Although no apparent internal disciplinary proceedings were brought against either officer, Mr. Kodlowski was forced to defend himself against criminal charges of assault, battery, and resisting arrest. The jury acquitted Mr. Kodlowski of the charges of assault and battery, but convicted him of one count of resisting arrest. Mr. Kodlowski’s attorney, Joseph Corriveau, appealed this conviction, prior to the decision in People v Moreno, 491 Mich 38; 814 NW2d 624 (2012), which confirmed the continuing viability of the right to resist an unlawful arrest.
Mr. Kodlowski sued the officers and the Westland Police Department for violations of federal and state claims, including false arrest, excessive force, municipal liability, assault, battery, and false imprisonment.
Although the officers and the City of Westland denied all allegations of wrongdoing, a settlement was negotiated by the parties in an amount of $695,000.00.
On October 04, 2013, in lieu of granting leave to appeal, the Michigan Supreme Court issued an Order which VACATED the potential application of People vs Moreno, infra, and REVERSED The Court of Appeals holding that the evidence regarding the nature of the defendant’s injuries was properly excluded, finding instead that the evidence was relevant to the defendant’s claim that the arresting officers fabricated charges to justify their actions