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Man Arrested For PCP in Washington Height Alleged Retaliation But Loses in SDNY Trial

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 31 – Darwin Columna was arrested in Washington Heights on April 26, 2016 and charged with possessing a bag of PCP which he says another man, Batista, admitted were his.

Colomna sued, alleging that NYPD Officer Gomez was retaliating against him for a lawsuit.

 On March 27, 2023 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York  Judge Jennifer L. Rochon began the trial. Inner City Press went and covered it.

    Defense counsel said Columna is trying to get paid for having the bag of PCP.

The defense said it plans three witnesses; the plaintiff only one beyond himself. The PCP will be bought into the courthouse, sealed in NYPD evidence pouches.  

On March 28, Columna was under cross examination. He acknowledged that Officer Gomez did not know precisely who he was until he showed his ID upon arrested; he was questioned about walking in the rain from 181st Street down to a pharmacy in the 140s. Did he remember everything that he bought that day? The arrest was in 2016.

On March 30, the jury asked both questions 1a and 1b no: Has plaintiff proved by a preponderance of the evidence that Mr. Columna was falsely arrested? No - "your deliberations are finished."

The case is Columna v. Gomez, et al., 19-cv-3801 (Rochon)


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