False arrest lawsuit against Pittsburgh police settled for $115,000
Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday approved a $115,000 settlement with a woman who accused a city officer of false arrest in a lawsuit.
Christine Condarcure, 50, of North Apollo sued Officer Anthony Scarpine, alleging that he was wrong to arrest her on charges of witness intimidation and simple assault outside of her son's preliminary hearing in May 2010. She spent five days in the Allegheny County Jail accused of hitting a witness, but video surveillance showed that she only brushed against the witness, according to the lawsuit.
“It's not just about the money, it's about the fact that citizens' constitutional rights are being violated by persons whom we have entrusted to enforce the law,” said attorney Tim O'Brien, who represented Condarcure.
The city could pay more than $500,000 this year to resolve lawsuits involving officers. Two jury awards this year against city officers totaled $224,016. A lawyer for a woman who accused an officer of sexually assaulting her in December 2011 said she has agreed to a $35,000 settlement with the city. The city has approved an $11,000 payment to a man who said he was injured when a police car hit him in 2007, and is considering a $145,000 settlement with a woman who was injured in a 2012 crash with an officer.
O'Brien said the types of complaints against police officers his office has received lately remind him of those that were made before a federal lawsuit against the bureau led to a consent decree in 1997 that put the police department under federal oversight for five years.
He said since the consent decree expired, he has seen a yearly rise in the complaints of police abuse.
Bryan Campbell, an attorney for the Pittsburgh police union, said he doesn't think the department is in the same place it was before the consent decree.
“The training today is a lot more extensive than it was, and the city keeps very, very close supervision over what the officers do,” Campbell said. “I think nobody today could bring a suit to show the city has patterns, practices or policies that would lead officers to think they could violate civil rights.”
Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at 412-380-8519 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pittsburgh International Airport to focus on attracting new airlines, increase facility’s usage
- Pittsburgh zoo receives $9M gift — largest ever — from Mellon Foundation
- Founder of Operation Safety Net in Pittsburgh named one of CNN’s 2015 Top 10 Heroes
- Downtown Pittsburgh Macy’s donates bits of history
- Wilkinsburg minister raided for drugs and guns, charged with 18 felonies
- Siblings sue over gas rights in Jefferson Hills land parcel
- Bishop Zubik visits Mooncrest Community Center
- North Hills transit service limits lamented
- Allegheny County Sheriff’s deputies apprehend one of county’s ‘most wanted fugitives’
- Upper St. Clair lifeguard ordered to stand trial for rape of female lifeguard
- Former employee at Plum home-building firm charged with embezzling nearly $200K