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City of Chester Agrees to Settle Police Juvenile Abuse Suit for $57,000

By Brandon Sample

On August 31, 2010, the city of Chester, Pennsylvania, agreed to pay $57,000 to a minor who was unlawfully arrested and beaten by Chester police.

On January 17th, 2007, Rickia Reese, a minor at the time, was walking home with two friends. Reese stopped to tie her shoe on the steps of Harry’s Food Express when a city of Chester policeman stopped his patrol car and instructed Reese and her friends to leave the premises. The officer gave Reese five minutes to finish tying her shoe and to leave.

Another Chester officer, Joshua Dewees, then arrived. Dewees told Reese and her friends to leave the premises immediately. Reese told Dewees that the other officer gave her five minutes to finish tying her shoe, to which Dewees replied that he was “not the other officer, move.”

Reese complied, but Dewees arrested Reese and her friends after they walked further down the street. Dewees allegedly struck Reese with a baton and roughed Reese up during the arrest. All charges against Reese were eventually dropped.

Reese sued, alleging violations of her Fourth Amendment rights, false arrest, and false imprisonment. The city settled for $57,000. Reese was represented by Harry Oxman or Oxman, Goodstadt, Krevitz & Kuritz, a Pennsylvania firm. See: Reese v. Dewees, No. 09-182 (E.D. Pa. 2010)

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Related legal case

Reese v. Dewees