“#US attorney Bianca Forde sues cops for wrongful arrest in NYC”
Assistant US attorney Bianca Forde was arrested on Nov. 30 when her boyfriend Joseph Paul got pulled over for suspected drunk driving in Midtown Manhattan and was asked to take a breathalyzer test, according to a Manhattan civil suit filed against officers Fidel Hernandez, Christophe Williams and Weigand, whose first name was not included in the suit.
Forde, the passenger, allegedly said at the time “I’m a US attorney. I’m his attorney — he doesn’t have to blow.”
Paul did anyhow and passed the breathalyzer test and wasn’t arrested.
Forde — who works in the criminal division of the US attorney’s office in Washington D.C. — was charged with obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest and failure to obey police officers.
The charges against her were dismissed and the case was sealed on April 6, according to her suit.
Now, the 35-year-old prosecutor is claiming it was “an unlawful stop” to begin with and the three officers from the incident “denied [Forde] the right to a fair trial by forwarding false information to the District Attorney’s Office, and to the media,” the Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit from Wednesday says.
The car didn’t “commit a traffic violation … or give police officers a reasonable and objective basis to stop the car,” the court papers say.
The cops, “incorrectly, and unlawfully, claimed the driver of the vehicle was intoxicated,” and Paul had no prior arrests for DWI, the suit says.
And Forde, “who is a lawyer, was giving legal advice to the driver” when “without any provocation or legal justification, the defendant police officers forcibly grabbed plaintiff and unlawfully handcuffed her,” the court documents allege.
“At no point in time did plaintiff resist arrest in any way,” the court papers claim.
Cops at the time said that Forde jumped out of the car despite multiple warnings telling her to stay inside and they claimed she flailed her arms when they tried to put handcuffs on her.
Since the incident Forde was passed over for a promotion “based solely on this arrest, from the false charges brought by the defendant officers,” the court documents say.
Forde was also forced to spend $10,000 to hire a criminal-defense lawyer to fight the charges and has had to seek mental-health treatment “to cope with her emotional and mental trauma,” the suit says.
Her lawyer declined to comment.
Hernandez referred inquiries to the NYPD, and the other two could not be reached for comment.
It was not immediately clear if they had a lawyer.
A spokesperson with the city Law Department said “We’ll review the case to determine whether it has merit.”
The NYPD did not immediately return a request for comment.
Additional reporting by Craig McCarthy
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