Allentown police brutality case settled for thousands

While police brutality is all-too-common in our country, it is possible for people to reach a settlement and be compensated for the abuse they suffered, as happened in this Allentown case.

For anyone living in Pennsylvania, encounters with law enforcement officers can sometimes be intimidating, and for some they can even scary, considering the huge difference in power implicit in those interactions. For some people, these fears become reality when an interaction with police goes sour. It is well known now that police brutality has been going on all throughout America, and it all too often that officers are excused and get away with paid leave while the case is worked out. Despite this unwelcome pattern, it is possible for the victims of such attacks to achieve some form of recompense, as happened with the Allentown, PA, case of Hector Medina-Pena.

A pattern of violence

The disturbing incident of violence was caught on a video wherein police officer Joseph M. Iannetta kicked Medina-Pena's head into the ground with no apparent point other than inflicting pain. Medina-Pena was cooperating with officers' instructions to get down on all fours when he was struck down. This is not the first incident where Allentown police showed obvious brutality and excessive force. The city paid $350,000 to settle a case where Ianetta kicked and stomped another man's face after his partner threw the man head-first down into concrete.

Severe injuries sustained

Medina-Pena was in the hospital for three days following his arrest, which was on charges of armed robbery. Yet despite his cooperation with the police officers on the scene, he ended up with three teeth knocked out, his jaw fractured and other injuries on his face and head. Yet when Medina-Pena was searched, no contraband or weapons were found.

It appears that Medina-Pena was surrendering to police and cooperating fully. He posed no threat and had no weapons on him and did not try to resist or fight back. Yet he was inflicted with injury and pain by the police officer that he literally put himself at the mercy of. It is now a repeating story in Allentown as it is in towns throughout America.

Fortunately, in this case, the lawsuit Medina-Pena brought against the city and the police met with success. While Medina-Pena was arrested in 2015, the courts took until July of 2017 to finally arrive at their result. The City of Allentown settled the lawsuit by paying out $160,000. While the outcome was not entirely favorable, as Iannetta never received justice and his responsibility was denied and moved off to the City, Medina-Pena was able to get a substantial amount of compensation.

Those living in Pennsylvania who have been victimized by police officers using excessive force do not need to stand by while their rights are infringed upon. It may be possible to successfully reach a settlement with the help of an attorney in the local area who practices criminal law.