It has been over three years since the face-fracturing beating of Christopher Micklovich by four off duty Manchester police officers, and today it was announced that there was ultimately an admission of culpability from the city. For $200,000, a federal civil rights lawsuit was withdrawn by the plaintiff, with city risk manager Harry Ntapalis revealing that the case was settled privately and was paid off in May of last year. The Union Leader has the story.
The Attorney General’s distasteful exoneration of the four officers, as well as the killing of James Breton in front of his daughter in May of 2011 was what inspired a police accountability rally at the former MPD station house on June 4 of that year. The demonstration against police violence became a demonstration of petty police violence, as around a dozen cameras were confiscated and eight people were kidnapped for offenses such as chalking, standing near chalk, and not following illegal orders fast enough. The Chalking 8 incident only proved the protesters’ point.
How Micklovich’s search for justice in his case snaked through the law enforcement bureaucracy before being resolved by the city further illustrates how detached from responsibility individuals in law enforcement are. Taxpayers are the source of both police salaries and plaintiff payoffs, yet legal immunity shields those tax recipients who are directly culpable from any restitution obligation.