A federal court jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants after a 3 day trial before Magistrate Judge Hummel. The defendants were represented by attorneys Stephen Rehfuss and Abigail Rehfuss of the The Rehfuss Law Firm.
The plaintiff, an African American woman, alleged that she was racially profiled, placed in handcuffs and detained for 17 minutes by several Caucasian Albany Police officers who she claimed uttered derogatory and racially insensitive remarks towards her and assaulted her.
The evidence at trial, including the audio from a dash cam in one of the officers car, showed that the plaintiff initiated the encounter with the police by shouting derogatory remarks at the officers. When the officers went to investigate to see if she needed assistance, the plaintiff started screaming and yelling at the officers, continuing to yell derogatory comments. The plaintiff was detained for approximately 15 minutes to insure her safety and to insure she was not intoxicated, on drugs or in need of mental health assistance.
The plaintiff was eventually released and subsequently filed this lawsuit.
The jury returned their verdict in less than 1 hour 20 minutes finding that the officers acted professionally, with probable cause and a reasonable suspicion to believe, that based on her actions, that the plaintiff was potentially involved in criminal activity.