The North Shore's "Cowboy Cop" Culture

Staten Island, where Eric Garner died after being put in a prohibited chokehold on July 17, may be the least populous of the city's five boroughs, but it tops the city's list for most-sued NYPD officers.

Seven of the city's 10 most-sued cops (based on a Daily News review of lawsuits between 2003 and 2013) work narcotics in the 120th Pct. on Staten Island's North Shore, where Eric Garner's fatal encounter with Officer Daniel Pantaleo occurred.

Officers from the Staten Island Narcotics Unit feature in 20% of the liability lawsuits reviewed by the Daily News -- nearly all involving false arrest charges.

According to a Staten Island lawyer who has filed dozens of these lawsuits, the Island, and the 1-2-0 in particular, has an aggressive "cowboy cop" culture, maybe because a lot of NYPD officers live there and it's relatively cut off from the other boroughs.

The 1-2-0 also has the borough's highest crime rate, its highest incidence of stop-and-frisk, and its highest number of police misconduct allegations substantiated by the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

The Garner case merely underscores the statistics that the NYPD's own Civil Lawsuit Monitoring Program and Risk Assessment Unit and city Comptroller Scott Stringer's new Claim Stat tracking system are reporting:  Staten Island's North Shore is a personal injury "hot spot", which last year alone saw incidents at the 1-2-0 and the 1-2-1 rack up 98 lawsuits.

The Daily News article.

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