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City of Philadelphia Settles 21 Suits Involving the Narcotics Field Unit

The Narcotics Field Unit, a division of the City of Philadelphia’s Police Department invaded small bodegas and smoke shops in the City, saying they were searching for the small plastic bags often used to package drugs. The merchants complained that the officers were stealing cash and merchandise after disabling security cameras to mask their conduct.

The actions of the Narcotics Field Unit triggered a major scandal in the City. As a result, the FBI conducted its own investigation of the officers after which, the City was forced to drop charges against several defendants and defend itself against federal civil rights suits filed by the people who were abused or framed by this police squad. Three years later, the City has settled 21 civil rights suits for an average settlement of $40K for each claim. Metzger & Kleiner represented one of the aggrieved merchants and was able to secure a settlement for approximately twice the average settlement amount.

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