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A Florida woman has filed a lawsuit against the Miami Beach Police Department after she was arrested wearing only a loose robe that kept coming off, allegedly exposing her naked body to officers.
Police were called to a Miami Beach apartment building after a cab driver called to report that a woman had gone inside to get money to pay for her cab fare but never returned, reports Miami's WTVJ. The woman, Candice Padavick, was arrested for petit theft, along with battery on a law enforcement officer, and resisting arrest after officers said she became combative.
The charges against Padavick were later dropped -- but not before she was subjected to humiliation and unnecessarily harsh treatment from officers, Padavick claims in a lawsuit against the department.
Padavick said she tried to pay for the cab with a credit card, but the driver only took cash. After Padavick went inside to reportedly grab cash for the driver, security footage shows a security guard at Padavick's apartment giving the cab driver money to pay for her fare, but not before the driver had called police.
When police arrived, they claim they were never informed that Padavick's fare had been paid. Officers went to Padavick's apartment, and claim that when Padavick opened the door, she was intoxicated and pushed one of the officers. Padavick, however, claims that police pulled her outside of her apartment and arrested her. Padavick claims that she was left wearing nothing but an open robe for 30 minutes in front of multiple officers. She also alleges that she was left with marks on her body from the police officers' use of force.
Although police generally have broad powers to enforce the law, when police behavior violates an individual's civil rights, a police misconduct lawsuit may be filed. Under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act, "person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law."
This generally means that when a police officer or other law enforcement official violates your civil rights, he or she may be liable for damages. This liability is typically imputed to the department for which an officer works, as well as the city being served by the department.
Due to the pending litigation, the City of Miami Beach and the Miami Beach Police Department both declined comment, reports WTVJ-TV.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.