Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers have mobility impairments. Robert Filer, who is paralyzed from the chest down and uses a wheelchair, was arrested and placed unsecured in a police van, fell to the van’s floor and was thrown around for the duration of the ride. He was then brought to an inaccessible police station, kept in an inaccessible holding cell, chained to a wall for 38 hours, and for that entire time was unable to use a bathroom because the station’s bathroom was also inaccessible. NYLPI’s federal court settlement with the NYPD ended dangerous and discriminatory transportation practices for all people in police custody who use wheelchairs. NYPD committed to developing its first ADA-compliant policy to transport people who use wheelchairs in accessible vehicles. We monitor compliance and seek continued reform of the NYPD’s transportation system for people with disabilities, including better training and policies.
(L-R) NYLPI Senior Staff Attorney Maureen Belluscio and Disability Justice Program Director Ruth Lowenkron with pro bono counsel James C. duPont and Emily R. Horn of Mayer Brown LLP, who worked collaboratively to achieve an impactful settlement in this case.