Queens Supreme Court Justice Thomas Raffaele (NYLJ/Rick Kopstein)
A lawsuit by a Queens judge who says a New York City police officer physically assaulted him without provocation in 2012 has been narrowed to claims of excessive force and battery against the officer.
In the early morning hours of June 1, 2012, Queens Supreme Court Justice Thomas Raffaele was standing on a street corner in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens, where a large crowd of onlookers had gathered around the scene of an arrest.
Raffaele said Officer Luis Samot pushed and hit him in the throat; the encounter was captured on cellphone video.
The judge, who has been on the bench since 2006, sued New York City, the city’s Civilian Complaint Review Board; Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and two of his assistants; Samot and other officers at the scene, alleging 14 counts, including conspiracy, supervisory liability, excessive force and per se slander and libel.
In 2015, Eastern District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto dismissed most of Raffaele’s claims, including all claims against Brown’s office.
On Thursday, Matsumoto further pared down the claims in Raffaele v. City of New York, 13-cv-4607, granted partial summary judgment to dismiss Raffaele’s supervisory liability and failure to intercede claims, but said that triable issues of fact remain as to the excessive force and battery claims against Samot.
Matsumoto ordered the parties to submit a joint status letter by Thursday saying if the remaining claims will be addressed by summary judgment motions or proceed to trial.
Assistant Corporation Counsel Brian Francolla is representing the city in the case. The department declined to comment. Neither Raffaele nor attorneys Barak Cardenas or Reza Islam of Cardenas Islam & Associates responded to requests for comment.