Unless you live under a mossy rock, last week you read or saw that the Finney Law Firm won a swift and important victory for our clients in an important civil rights case.
At 10 PM Monday night, our firm filed a lawsuit exposing the unlawful handcuffing, arrest and search of a black Realtor and his homebuyer by nine police officers responding to a caller falsely claiming a breaking and entering at a home for sale in Price Hill.
At the same time as the filing, Channel 19 broke the story with a detailed newscast using body cam videos from the officers showing guns drawn, handcuffing for a protracted 4-5 minutes, and an illegal search of the innocent pair. The house was for sale and had a “for sale” sign in the yard and a lockbox providing keyed access to the home. The Realtor properly had made an appointment for the showing and legally made entry into the home via the key provided.
Our clients, Realtor Jerry Isham and his home buyer Tony Edwards, entrusted the important case to our firm.
In addition to the constitutional violations by the responding police officers, the City had illegally destroyed seven of the body camera videos months after our firm formally requested them, in itself actionable in a law suit.
At 2:30 PM the following day, fewer than 16 hours and 30 minutes after the filing of the suit, the City settled the case for 100% of the demand of the clients, including police and Realtor training seminars on police interaction on home sales.
In this instance, the Finney Law Firm provided swift and full justice for the Plaintiffs, but also sent a message into the community about respect for the constitutional rights of African American citizens engaged in entirely lawful behavior.
You may see the Channel 19 story here and read about the settlement in the Enquirer here.
In addition to our appreciation to our clients for entrusting our firm with this case, we also thank the City Solicitor’s office and Mayor Cranley for their leadership in quickly recognizing the legitimacy of the claims and settling them.