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Massachusetts Family Awarded $600,000 for Police Harassment and City's Negligence

A Massachusetts family (the Kennedy's) brought a federal civil rights action against Billerica police in 2004 for harassment that began in 1991. A jury awarded the family $600,000.

Policeman Frank Mackenzie answered a domestic dispute call at the family's trailer in 1991. Michelle Kennedy alleged that Mackenzie later became obsessive, trailing her in his patrol car while she jogged, sending her flowers and buying her gifts. When she rejected his attentions he allegedly became furious, resulting in 15 years of police harassment against her, her husband and their three children. The federal complaint alleged numerous incidents of harassment, including false charges and bodily harm.

A federal jury awarded the family $600,000 on October 9, 2007, ruling that the City, police department and even police chief Daniel Rosa were negligent. The defendants’ attorney called the verdict a "head scratcher" and vowed to appeal, since the jury had rejected all but two minor claims by the family. See: Kennedy v. Town of Billerica, U.S.D.C. (Mass.), Case No. 1:04-cv-12357-PBS.

Source: Boston Globe

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Related legal case

Kennedy v. Town of Billerica