In February of 2016, a young man named Patrick Mumford was wrongfully detained by Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department, who was serving a warrant for another man. Despite identifying himself twice, Metro Police officers tased Patrick in the back and arrested him for obstruction.
Had Patrick hired another law firm, he may have successfully navigated the criminal justice system and been cleared of the charges stemming from his false arrest. But the unique skill set of the Claiborne Firm was able to bring immediate national attention to the wrongful actions of police. More than 20 million people viewed the police body camera footage of Patrick’s arrest; the public outcry led to a personal apology to Patrick by the chief of police and a $100,000 civil settlement paid in a matter of weeks by the City of Savannah.
Moreover, Patrick’s charges were dropped, and the Claiborne Firm successfully kept the incident from affecting his probationary status for a non-violent first offense.
Patrick’s case would serve as a case study in a lengthy article on suspect identification in The New Yorker. He continues to work and be a productive member of society.