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Ex-Playmate Strips NYC of $1.2M in Jury Verdict

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on February 23, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A former Playboy Playmate has won $1.2 million in a lawsuit that claimed New York City police used excessive force when responding to a false 911 call.

A jury found that police roughed up Stephanie Adams, now 41, when they responded to a cab driver's bizarre 911 call in 2006, the New York Daily News reports. The cabbie falsely told police that Adams "flashed vampire teeth" at him, and threatened to shoot him.

At trial, a New York City police officer admitted he threw Adams to the ground to subdue her, because "we didn't know if she had a firearm." But a jury sided with the ex-Playmate -- largely because of what she was wearing that day.

Stephanie Adams wore skintight jeans and a shirt that exposed her bare midriff, CBS News reports. Upon questioning at trial, the officer who tackled Adams admitted she "was wearing tight-fitting clothing, and there was no place to conceal a weapon."

In an excessive force lawsuit, a jury decides whether an officer's use of force was reasonable, in light of the facts and circumstances of an incident.

In Adams' case, the police officer "not only threw her to the ground, he was holding her there, even though he could see she was not armed," one juror told the Daily News after the verdict. "It felt like it was too much."

Adams claimed her rough treatment by police caused permanent neck and back injuries. Jurors agreed, and awarded her more than $1 million to cover medical bills, as well as future pain and suffering.

Lawyers for New York City have 45 days to appeal. They may also ask the judge to reduce or overturn the jury's verdict, the Daily News reports.

Stephanie Adams, heralded as the first lesbian Playmate when she was named a centerfold in 1992, is now married to a man and has a 1-year-old son, the Daily News reports. With the ex-Playmate's excessive-force lawsuit resolved, Adams says she plans to work as an activist against police brutality.

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