City woman sues Phila. cops over alleged incident of excessive force

By Jon Campisi | Nov 29, 2014

A Philadelphia woman is suing the city and two of its police officers over

claims that she was subject to excessive force that left her seriously injured.

Florine Robinson filed a civil complaint on Dec. 31 against the City of Philadelphia and two Jane Doe officers over a Jan. 1, 2012, incident that left the plaintiff with injuries to her face, head, knees and body.

The complaint alleges that the two officers, whose true identities are not known at this time, detained Robinson without cause at about 1 in the morning on that day in early 2012 and proceeded to beat the plaintiff, even though the woman didn’t pose a threat to the officers.

The plaintiff was never cited with any criminal offense, the suit states, but she was nevertheless subjected to excessive force by the defendants, “ and the degree and kind of force utilized was far in excess of that needed to place the plaintiff under detention and/or arrest.”

As a result of the incident, Robinson suffered a host of injuries, including sprain and strain to her back, bulging discs, contusions, arthritis, eye injuries, and emotional and psychological upset.

The complaint shows medical expenses approaching $17,000 that the plaintiff says she incurred to treat her injuries.

Robinson also claims she suffered a loss of earnings and earning capacity as a result of her inability to work while she was recovering from her injuries.

The complaint does not seem to specify the exact nature of the circumstances surrounding the plaintiff’s detainment on Jan. 1, 2012.

The lawsuit accuses the two police officers of violating the plaintiff’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

There is also a bystanders/supervisory liability count against the two cops as well as a count of conspiracy.

The complaint contains a Monell claim against the City of Philadelphia in which the municipality is accused of maintaining a policy of condoning the use of excessive force by its police officers, and turning a blind eye to the verbal and physical abuse officers subject individuals to in the course of their employment.

Robinson seeks unspecified compensatory damages as well as interest, costs, attorneys’ fees and other legal relief.

She is being represented by lawyers Jeffrey S. Shorr and Edwin Dashevsky of the Philadelphia firm Dashevsky, Horwitz, Kuhn and Novello.


The federal case number is 2:13-cv-07647-GP.

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