BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Latest on a judge’s ruling in favor of a Chinese tourist injured by a U.S. border agents (all times local):
A federal prosecutor says a judge got it right with her ruling awarding $461,000 to a Chinese tourist who sued the U.S. government after being injured by a border agent at Niagara Falls in 2004.
The Rochester judge found the government liable for a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent’s rough handling of Zhao Yan at a U.S.-Canada border crossing.
Zhao had sought $10 million.
Acting U.S. Attorney James Kennedy says Monday’s decision delivered the justice the government sought all along — even as it took seemingly contradictory positions of prosecuting the officer criminally, then defending him in the civil case.
Officer Robert Rhodes was acquitted of violating Zhao’s civil rights.
Rhodes’ lawyer says the civil case could have been avoided if the government had backed Rhodes instead of charging him.
A federal judge has ruled in favor of a Chinese businesswoman who sued the U.S. government after being injured during a confrontation with American border agents in 2004.
Following a non-jury trial in Rochester, Judge Elizabeth Wolford awarded Zhao Yan $461,000 for false arrest, medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost earnings. Her 2006 civil rights lawsuit sought $10 million in damages.
Wolford’s ruling Monday found the government liable for a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent’s handling of Zhao at the Rainbow Bridge U.S.-Canada border crossing in Niagara Falls.
The government had contended Zhao’s black eye and other injuries were her own fault because she ran from officers then struggled as they restrained her.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and Zhao’s lawyers haven’t responded to requests for comment.