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False Arrest and Police Brutality Tight Handcuffs Excessive Force

Within the realm of false arrest and police brutality, allegations involving the use of tight handcuffs by police officers, whether the use of handcuffs is reasonable and, thus, not actionable or excessive force, hinges on whether 1) the handcuffs were unreasonably tight; 2) the defendants ignored the plaintiff's pleas that the handcuffs were too tight; and 3) the degree of injury to the wrists, if any.

See (Lynch v. City of Mount Vernon, 567 FSupp2d 459, 468 [2d Cir2008] [Even though handcuffs were tight, and made tighter after plaintiff complained, the fact that there was no injury to plaintiff's wrists was "fatal to the excessive force claim."] ).

The injury requirement is particularly important and often times dispositive (id. at 468 ["There is a consensus among courts in this circuit that tight handcuffing does not constitute excessive force unless it causes some injury beyond temporary discomfort."]; Usavage v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 932 FSupp2d 575, 592 [SDNY 2013] ).

Perciaccanto v. City of New York, 47 Misc. 3d 1216(A), 16 N.Y.S.3d 794 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2015)

There are many degrees of excessive force within false arrest and police brutality. Tight handcuffing is one form of excessive force that usually goes unlitigated because of the severity, or lack thereof, of the injury caused to the arrestee.  Nevertheless, to prevail on an excessive force claim, an arrestee must show that law enforcement personnel exceeded the standard of objective reasonableness under the Fourth Amendment. U.S.C.A. Const.Amend. 4; 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983.  

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