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Columbiaville couple sue DA, HPD chief, law enforcement alleging civil rights violations

Nov 13, 2022 1:00 am

Mary Dempsey reports for Columbia-Greene Media that a Columbiaville couple November 4, filed a civil rights complaint in Columbia County court naming District Attorney Paul Czajka [CHAI-kah], Hudson Police Chief L. Edward Moore and other state and local law enforcement officials as defendants, alleging they were subject to unlawful entry and trespass, false arrest and imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and deprivation of a right to a fair trial in 2021. Attorney Leo Glickman, of Stoll, Glickman and Bellina, in Manhattan, filed the case on behalf of Kevron T. Lee and his wife, Seantavia [Shawn-TAY-veah] Lee. They are demanding punitive damages and attorneys’ fees alleging their Fourth and 14th Amendment rights were violated. “This is not about the money,” Kevron Lee said. “It’s more about protecting peoples’ rights. I understand that they (law enforcement) have a job to do, but I want them to do the job in the right way, not cut corners and stop singling people out. This has been a grave injustice to me and my family and caused a lot of hardship. Now, a lot of people are looking at me differently, like I’m a menace to society and the reality is that I’m a pretty good person. It has also caused a lot of financial hardship for me. Also, my wife was pregnant at the time and she shouldn’t have had to deal with that, especially if they [law enforcement] didn’t have the correct information.” Kevon Lee and 10 other people were picked up and their homes were raided by police in the very early morning hours of August 6, 2021. “The Hudson Police Department arrested and charged Mr. Lee with a violent felony, then trumpeted the arrest to the community,” Glickman said last week. Glickman said the police lacked the required probable cause to arrest and retain his client, but Moore chose to "arrest him and publicize" the arrest and Czajka prosecuted Lee despite lacking evidence that he had committed a crime. The suit asserts that the evidence presented to the grand jury following Lee’s arrest was fraudulent and in bad faith. In September, county Judge Jonathan D. Nichols dismissed the charges against Kevron Lee, as well as Larrell Roberts and Bruce Pigford stemming from the same raids. Lee said.,“I have maintained my innocence throughout. If I agreed [to plead guilty], I would have been an innocent man serving time in prison. I was willing to take this case all the way because I knew I was innocent. They (law enforcement) trump up charges on people with no evidence and there are a lot of innocent people who do not have the financial resources to fight, so they take the plea deal even though they’re innocent.” Lee was indicted in a separate case in 2021, on 14 counts following a four-year investigation by the Hudson Police Department into an August 2017, State Street shooting that wounded three people, including two children. That case is currently pending.Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.

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