If the harrowing account of brutality that Michael Mineo tells is true, three NYPD officers beat and sodomized him with a police baton in a Brooklyn subway station in October, inflicting the type of rectal injuries (and mental anguish) we don’t even want to write about. Mineo is now suing New York City for $200 million. That is, we needn’t tell you, a lot of money — but not unprecedented. When Abner Louima was sodomized by police in 1997 while in a holding cell after a Brooklyn nightclub arrest, he sued the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association for $155 million; they settled for $8.75 million.
It’s unclear where the $200 million figure came from, but certainly part of it includes punitive damages — the type that punishes the city not for the actual harm inflicted on Mineo, but for permitting the behavior to even happen within the NYPD.
We don’t expect all of you to have passed a bar exam, but using your gut and common sense, tell us: Is Mineo’s demand for $200 million too much? Too little? Or just right?
(And it’d help if you explained your response, too.)