All human beings have certain inherent rights. These rights are protected by law under the U.S. Constitution—but this does not mean that these rights are always honored. In fact, now more than ever, we are recognizing that civil rights violations are incredibly common in the United States. These violations are not only unjust and morally wrong, but they also put victims at risk of serious bodily injury, reputational harm, loss of freedom, and even death.
If you believe that a law enforcement agency, government official, or some other entity has violated your civil rights or the rights of your loved one, reach out to Rubenstein & Rynecki in Brooklyn. Since 1972, our New York City civil rights attorneys have been standing up for ordinary Americans who have been victims of police brutality and had their civil rights violated. We aggressively advocate for our clients and fight tirelessly to secure the justice they deserve while simultaneously demanding that liable parties be held accountable.
The term “police brutality” refers to the excessive and/or unwarranted use of force by law enforcement officers against private citizens, immigrants, and others. Although this is far from a new phenomenon, data show that police brutality has been on the rise in recent years, especially when it comes to fatal police shootings. In 2020, more than 1,000 people were fatally shot by police in the United States, marking an increase of over 2% from the previous year. Additionally, the overall rate of fatal police shootings for Black and Hispanic individuals is significantly higher than other ethnicities.
At Rubenstein & Rynecki, we believe that everyone deserves justice. We fight to hold law enforcement officers accountable and work to ensure that such injustices do not occur in the future.
Compensation for Victims of Civil Rights Violations
These criminal civil rights violations are investigated and prosecuted by the FBI, as well as state and local civil rights law enforcement units. As criminal offenses, hate crimes and other civil rights violations often carry certain penalties, including jail time and steep fines. While these criminal penalties can bring a sense of justice, they do little to compensate victims who suffer significant bodily injury, property damage, and other economic and non-economic losses.
At Rubenstein & Rynecki, we represent the rights of victims of hate crimes throughout New York City, seeking the fair financial compensation they are owed. We know that no amount of monetary recovery can undo the trauma you have endured, but a favorable settlement or verdict can allow you to recover the resources you need to heal.
At Rubenstein & Rynecki, our highly qualified New York City civil rights attorneys have decades of successful experience defending victims of hate crimes and other civil rights violations. Our track record of fighting for justice includes multimillion-dollar settlements in civil rights legal cases, as well as personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases. When it comes to litigating your case, we apply every provision under New York civil rights law to protect your rights through tough negotiations and do not hesitate to take violators to court if that is what it takes to obtain justice.
Our Civil Rights Case Results
Some of the results the civil rights attorneys at Rubenstein & Rynecki have obtained for clients include:
- $8.75 million for a man who was sodomized by a NYC police office in a police precinct bathroom
- $3 million for the family of an African immigrant wrongly shot and killed by a police officer during a raid on a warehouse in Chelsea
- $1 million for a Brooklyn parochial student whose classmates forced him to cross-dress based on a teacher's order
- $1.5 million for a cab driver wrongly shot by police
- $7.15 million for the wrongful death of the father of two and damages for injured victims in the case of police firing a 50-shot barrage
- $175,000 for a wrongfully arrested Florida man
- $400,000 for telephone repairmen roughed up and falsely arrested by traffic cops
- $300,000 for a Haitian man beaten by cops at a motor vehicle office in Brooklyn
- $440,000 for victims of police brutality at Caribbean parade
- $75,000 for a photojournalist, a victim of excessive force and false arrest by police while trying to photograph police misconduct
Q:What Are Civil Rights?
A:Civil rights are rights guaranteed to every individual, including U.S. citizens, immigrants, and others living within the United States. Many civil rights—though not all—are outlined in the U.S. Constitution.
Examples of civil rights include:
The right to vote
The right to free speech
The right to equal protection
Freedom of religion
Freedom of the press
The right to protest
The right to assembly
The right to due process
Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure
The right to an attorney
The right to a speedy and public trial
These and other rights are protected by law. When individuals violate these rights, victims can seek justice and fair monetary compensation for their resulting damages, including costs associated with medical treatment of bodily injuries, lost income/wages, damaged reputation, loss of freedom, pain and suffering, emotional distress, trauma, and more.
Q:What Constitutes a Civil Rights Violation?
A:A civil rights violation occurs anytime an individual’s protected liberties are violated by others, including people in positions of power, such as police officers and government officials. Civil rights violations also involve instances in which individuals are threatened or harmed on the basis of a protected category, such as race, gender, or sexual orientation.
- Police brutality, misconduct, and abuse
- Restricting freedom of speech
- Discrimination in housing or education
- Excessive use of force by law enforcement agencies
- False arrest
- Illegal searches and seizures
- correction officer misconduct
Note that this is not an exhaustive list; if you believe your rights have been violated in any way, contact our New York City civil rights attorneys to discuss your potential case. We can help you understand your legal rights and options, as well as what we can do to help you move forward.
If you or someone you know was the victim of a hate crime, or your civil rights were violated, you may be able to take legal action to seek compensatory damages and fight for your basic civil and human rights. If you are looking for a New York City civil rights attorney, the Brooklyn-based law firm of Rubenstein & Rynecki is prepared to fight for you. If there is no recovery, there is no fee.
We assist clients in English, Spanish, Russian, Romanian, Greek, and Creole.