In addition to spending $150,000 to settle a lawsuit against a police officer who previously cost the city $100,000 in a wrongful arrest case, the Board of Estimates today voted to pay $73,000 to terminate a suit against an officer subject to two disciplinary hearings.
Officer Haywood D. Bradley had just been reinstated to the police force, after being suspended for three years for a domestic assault and pointing a handgun at a shop owner, when he got into a dispute on August 7, 2012 with a security guard at an apartment complex in Seton Hill.
The security guard, a former police officer named Albert N. Lemon, had called in a 911 complaint about suspected drug activity, according to city records.
When Officer Bradley and his partner arrived, they saw that Lemon had handcuffed the suspect inside the complex’s leasing office.
Words Exchanged and Weapons Drawn
Bradley and Lemon “exchanged words” regarding whether it was appropriate for the suspect to be in handcuffs, according to a summary of facts provided to the spending board.
When Bradley attempted to arrest Lemon, Lemon tried to reach for his handgun. This prompted Bradley and his partner, Anan M. Badgujar, to draw their weapons, the summary said.
The security guard was arrested by Bradley and Badgujar. (The settlement never says what happened to the suspected drug dealer.)
After those charges were dropped by prosecutors, Lemon sued the city in federal court.
The law department recommended that the spending board settle the case “given the uncertainties and unpredictability of jury verdicts” and “conflicting factual issues.”
Suit Against the Department and Mayor
At the time of the arrest, Bradley was involved in a civil rights case against the police department, claiming that he had been unfairly suspended because of his race (African-American) for infractions that were no worse than those committed by several Caucasian police officers.
A month after the Lemon arrest, on September 19, 2012, Bradley’s suit was dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge James K. Bredar.
Reviewing evidence presented by the police regarding terminations and suspensions of other officers, Bredar ruled that Bradley had not received unusual treatment during the department’s internal disciplinary process triggered by his arrest for allegedly assaulting his then-wife and for pointing a handgun at an automobile shop owner.
The judge continued:
“As his complaint reveals, the charging committee recommended termination for the domestic violence incident, but the trial board did not sustain the charge. Also, his allegations make clear that the suspensions he received were in relation to the second set of charges, relating to the second-degree assault on the vehicle shop owner. And although the charging committee recommended termination, Bradley agreed to resolve the September 2009 charges by settling for a 15-day suspension without pay and 15 days’ loss of leave.”
Officer Bradley has since left the department, while Officer Badgujar remains on the force, according to on-line city records.