Convicted murderer sues police for “physical, emotional and mental injuries” www.privateofficer.com
De Von Callicutt, 22, wants compensatory and punitive damages in U.S. District Court in Albany for the “physical, emotional and mental injuries” he contends he suffered following his arrest on Orange Street in Albany on Nov. 30, 2008. The arrest was unrelated to the murder of Bailey, a 22-year-old Nassau County man whom Callicutt shot in the head at South Lake Avenue and Yates Street about 11:20 p.m. on Oct. 20, 2008.
Callicutt was already serving a five-year stretch in prison for the Orange Street incident when police charged him with Bailey’s murder. Callicutt had pleaded guilty to attempted weapon possession for firing a gun while resisting arrest on Orange Street.
He is now serving life without parole at the ultra-maximum-security Southport Correctional Facility in Chemung County.
The killer is representing himself in the excessive force suit, which he filed against “Albany County Police,” a reference to city police officers.
Callicutt contends he was beaten after he admittedly tried to climb over an 8-foot fence to evade police on Orange Street.
In a handwritten federal complaint, Callicutt alleged an officer pushed him, which caused him to fall into a back yard and accidentally fire his gun. Callicutt contends he threw his gun away and surrendered, but that another officer continued to mistreat him after making the arrest.
“He acts as if (he) was going to walk (me) out of the yard,” Callicutt stated, “then threw (me) to the ground.”
Callicutt contends that while he was on the ground, police officers held his legs, pistol-whipped him, punched him and Taser-shocked him to make him lose consciousness. He claims one officer finally said, “That’s enough. Before he dies.”
Callicutt stated he awoke in an ambulance and hospital bed, where, according to him, he had Taser burn marks on his back and staples in his head from an officer “striking him in the head with his gun repeatedly.”
He seeks $100,000 for compensatory damages from the six police officers he alleges beat him and another $10,000 from each officer in punitive damages. Callicutt also has asked for “other relief as it may appear that plaintiff is entitled.”
Callicutt identified five of the officers; the sixth was listed as “John Doe.”
In court papers filed June 20, Assistant Corporation Counsel Eric Sugar noted that when Callicutt initially filed the lawsuit on Oct. 26, he identified all six police officers as “John Doe” defendants. Magistrate Judge Randolph Treece did not allow the suit to go forward as drafted, but allowed Callicutt time to add named defendants in an amended complaint he filed May 26.
The city is asking Treece to dismiss the lawsuit because Callicutt did not file it within the proper three-year statute of limitations, Deputy Corporation Counsel Tara Wells said Wednesday.
She said Treece could dismiss the lawsuit as soon as Friday when it is next on the judge’s schedule.
On June 20, Assistant Corporation Counsel Eric Sugar wrote Treece: “Although the court does have the discretion to grant plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint, the court does not have the discretion to extend the statute of limitations.”
Sugar also argued that Callicutt did not identify any of the officers in his initial complaint because he did not know their names. As such, he “failed to provide any notice to potential defendants of his intent to sue, and said potential defendants would be prejudiced in maintaining a defense,” the lawyer stated.
Bailey, who sought to follow his father’s footsteps as a New York City police officer, was shot in the head and killed after leaving a friend’s house where he had been watching Monday Night Football. Two former codefendants of Callicutt — Ricardo “Rico” Caldwell and King “Cokilla” Modest — cut plea deals to testify against him.
In December 2010, Callicutt was convicted of first-degree murder, robbery and weapons charges in the death of Bailey. Jurors also convicted Callicutt of robbing 23-year-old Desmond Knauth at State and Ontario Streets — just seven minutes after the shooting. Callicutt was convicted on evidence that included jailhouse letters to a girlfriend in which he confessed to killing Bailey.