Cops Must Show Probable Cause for Bronx Arrest

     (CN) – Police officers lacked privilege to apprehend a Bronx man who allegedly shouted, “police, police, police,” upon seeing them, a New York appeals court ruled.
     Malvin Omar Urena claims that he was in his apartment courtyard with his friends in May 2013 when police arrested him without cause or explanation.
     Urena was charged with obstruction for allegedly interfering with a buy-and-bust operation by yelling, “police, police, police,” when the cops arrived.
     After more than 24 hours in jail, the District Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute Urena because his arrest lacked probable cause.
     Urena in turn sued the city for false arrest and false imprisonment, but the Bronx County Supreme Court granted it summary judgment on those claims.
     A three-judge panel with Appellate Division’s First Judicial Department in Manhattan reversed, saying the evidence calls into question whether police had probable cause to arrest Urena.
     While a warrant had been issued for Urena’s arrest in December 2011, that alone cannot justify his 2013 arrest because “the police were unaware of the warrant when they arrested plaintiff, according to the ruling.

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