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A cop gave me a wedgie - is this police brutality?

New York, NY |

I was standing on the sidewalk in front of my apt. building and all of a sudden a cop car stopped in front of me, a cop got out, came up to me, handcuffed me and walked me over to the cop car. Then he told me to put my hands on the car and he frisked me. I was scared so I just did what he said. All of a sudden, as the cop was frisking me he reached into my pants, grabbed my underwear, and gave me a wedgie. It really hurt and I kept asking him to stop but he just started laughing and was calling me names. For some reason, he just held me there by my underwear for like 5 minutes. After a while he let me go and took the handcuffs off. I asked him what this was about and he didn't answer me, he just said I can go. It was so weird. Is there anything I can do? Is this police brutality? HELP!

Attorney Answers 6


  1. Not enough damages to find an attorney who would bring a lawsuit on this set of facts.

    My name is Stephen R. Cohen and have practiced since 1974. I practice in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA. These answers do not create an attorney client relationship. My answers may offend I believe in telling the truth, I use common sense as well as the law. Other state's laws may differ.. There are a lot of really good attorneys on this site, I will do limited appearances which are preparation of court documents it is , less expensive. However generally I believe an attorney is better than none, but many will offer a free consultation and a face to face meeting generally will be better, I like my clients to write a short one page history of the fact and questions they have prior to meeting with them, so nothing is forgotten.


  2. That's bizarre but I don't see enough damages to warrant a lawsuit. You need to serve a Notice of Claim within 90 days to preserve your right to sue under state law.

    The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


  3. Although my colleagues question the amount of damages, in my opinion, the case would rise or fall on your credibility. The giving of a wedgie is almost a sexual assault, and even though no bones were broken, there may be potential for a big reward. The problem is proving your case.


  4. I suggest you go see a civil rights lawyer without any delay.

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  5. Before you go looking for a lawsuit (I agree with my colleagues about the minimal damages), have you tried reporting the act to the NYPD, in order to have the officer disciplined?

    It is entirely possible the reason the officer engages in this behavior is because he thinks no one will report him for it. Perhaps reporting him might stop the behavior.

    Just a thought.

    As to whether you have had your civil rights violated, I would speak to a civil rights attorney.

    This does not constitute legal advice or the engagement of my services as an attorney.


  6. This would indeed appear to be police misconduct. At the least you should file a complaint with the CCRB. I agree with my other colleagues about damages - this would more be a small claims lawsuit. Schedule a consult with a NYC Civil Rights lawyer for a full assessment.

    * If you found my answer to be "HELPFUL," or the "BEST ANSWER," please feel free to mark it accordingly.