Lawsuit possible by Talib against Dallas Police Department

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Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib has gotten an apology via Twitter from the Dallas Police Department for its erroneous claim that Talib had been arrested on Sunday.  It’s possible Talib may want something more.

A potential civil lawsuit hasn’t been ruled out yet, and Talib has plenty of time to decide whether to pursue a claim of defamation arising from the mistaken identification of his brother, Yaqub, as Aqib on the Twitter account of Dallas Police Major Max Geron.

Geron has explained the mistake by claiming that the original email message to him indicated that the person arrested with the last name Talib played in the NFL.  That became Aqib Talib — and it became blared loudly by Geron as “BREAKING” news, via tweets that as of this posting Geron inexplicably has not yet deleted.

(Here’s some free legal advice, Max:  Delete them.)

Because Aqib Talib is a public figure, the “actual malice” standard applies.  He’d need to prove that the Dallas Police Department knew the claim was false or acted with reckless disregard to the truth or falsity of the claim that was made.

Even if “actual malice” can be proven, damages would flow from assessing the harm to Talib’s reputation.  To determine the harm to his reputation, his baseline reputation would have to be determined.  Which would result in all the stuff he’s allegedly and/or actually done being admitted into evidence and potentially poisoning a jury’s view of Talib.

Another issue that would require legal research relates to the concept of sovereign immunity.  An outdated “king can do no wrong” notion that gradually has yielded in the U.S. via, at a minimum, the availability of insurance, Talib’s lawyers would need to be sure that a claim for defamation can be made against a public police department.

Ultimately, Talib’s best play likely will be to lump it and move on.  The aggressive pursuit of defamation lawsuits can lead to all sorts of unintended consequences, as Roger Clemens once learned.

75 responses to “Lawsuit possible by Talib against Dallas Police Department

  1. Yeah why not just move on, it’s only adding one more thing to the list of bad things that can happen to you of which you can’t do anything about because the rules and the law are just too complicated or impractical for you to achieve injustice.

  2. SUE them Aqib! They will do whatever they can do to drag your name through the dirt, make them pay for this mistake.

  3. Lol I’m surprised he didn’t sue steve smith for assaulting him on national tv. #ravensnation

  4. Just because you can sue somebody doesn’t mean you should. Personally, I think this is part of what’s wrong with society.

    Dallas, apologize (and mean it).

    Good. Now, Aquib, forgive Dallas for their wrongful tweet.

    Great! Now let’s shake hands and save everybody some money.

  5. Good way to determine whether you should sue. If your lawyer is willing to take the case on a contingency basis where he gets his only if you win or settle, go for it. If your lawyer wants a retainer to proceed, drop it before it costs a fortune.As rich as Talib is, the City of Dallas has much deeper pockets and lots of lawyers on the payroll already. Very hard to win regardless how good your case is.

  6. I hope he really does sue, and I hope city PDs quit posting that type of sensitive information that tears the peoples reputations to shreds. I am not a crimal, nor have I ever been arrested, or even a speeding ticket, but it is just ridiculous the way these people get ridiculed on the internet. My local PD posts on Facebook when they take an arrest and people just rip into them in the comment section about how big of a scum they are. How do you think that does for their rehabilitation? At least in the newspapers there’s no comment section. Some PDs should be a little more professional and stick to ink and not Twitter..

  7. The fact that the police haven’t taken down the erroneous tweets AFTER they knew of the mistake is concerning…

    It is too easy to target public figures without consequence… if there was some sort of deterrent there MIGHT be some more effort into you know checking your facts…

  8. B.S. !!! He gets nothing. If the apology isn’t good enough then I suggest you call your mommy to console you.

  9. I would feel bad if it was most any other player but we are talking about Aquib Talib. This guy has been busted multiple times. His mom has been busted and now his brother. How bad should we feel for someone that’s part of a family of criminals?

  10. How could this horrible PD do that to such an upstanding citizen like Aquib Talib. Who would’ve ever mistaked a guy getting locked up with a similar name as his brother. Its not like Aquib was indicted for firing a weapon at someone or anything like that before…. Oh wait a minute…..

  11. Just a reminder. suing DPD means suing taxpayers. DPD is not some profit making entity. It’s funded by sales tax and fees that you and the guy next door pay.

  12. to all of the people wanting him to sue.. you realize the money is coming from the tax payers right?

    its not like the cops are paying it… its the guy who struggled to pay his house taxes while being laid off…

    thats whose paying it… mistakes happen, they corrected it… move on.

    no one will remember this is 48 hours anyway

  13. Just delete the emails and tell everyone your hard drive crashed. It works for the IRS.

  14. Pointless waste of time and money, just chuckle and move on. I seriously doubt this could be shown to have damaged your reputation any more than you have already ‘damaged’ it.

  15. They have been put on notice and have in fact given notice that their tweets were a mistake and yet they still have not taken them down. THAT makes for a much stronger basis for any lawsuit.

  16. I don’t think he needs to sue, however the Dallas PD should absolutely fire the Major who made the mistake. That will both punish the person responsible for screwing up and send a strong message to other PDs to stay off of the twitter or at the very least not post things that are incorrect.

  17. That the tweet has yet to be deleted, in itself, shows malice or a reckless disregard. Also, if the writing is false, it is assumed that it hurts a person’s reputation – there is nothing more to prove, including a baseline. It is also questionable whether Talib is the class of public figure who needs to show intent by the DPD. Talib should drop the hammer, and he would win.

  18. No if you want to sue, without having us taxpayers pay for it, you personally sue the COP that put the info out there. With all cop lawsuits, never sue the PD, personally sue the COP(s) that caused you harm. Get their name, badge number, and then proceed with a civil lawsuit with only the offending cop(s). THAT is how it is done.

  19. Aqib, if you’re reading this which I know you’re not, SUE THE PANTS OFF THEM!!!! This is defamation. I’ve read the comments on here saying AT shouldn’t sue. IDIOTS… Regardless of who you are you have to abide by the law. This even means Police Departments. Maybe this will get them to rethink going all TMZ on twitter.

  20. Why post that kind of stuff on twitter? Twitter?Facebook eliminate the usage of time to do stuff like research, cool about a topic and thus make the twit doing the posting seem stupid or vindictive. The PD should only use Twitter (or Facebook) for community safety issues (storm warnings, evac routes, shelters open/closed, active shooting incidents, etc.) Keep the personal IDs out of it. The public at large have no reason to immediately know if Mr X got a ticket.

  21. Talib is trying to shake a bad rep, has been a good soldier for a couple of yrs, and now he has to deal with this. I’d be upset too. Police seem to forget often, they work for the taxpayers. Not the other way around. It’s a risky job yes, and many deserve a lot of credit, but sometimes their arrogance and belligerence is beyond belief. Not to mention the corruption and payola. They also seem to take delight in making an example of a famous, wealthy person. I’m sick of it. Yes, the taxpayers pay if a lawsuit against police is won, but maybe that will help change the way things are done. There are bigger battles to fight.

  22. He ABSOLUTELY should sue if for no other reason than to try to stop this stuff from happening again. I do think law enforcement can benefit from using social media (amber alerts, letting communities know about dangerous offenders.. etc) but certainly not simply to try and drag someones name through the mud over a misdemeanor. Even if he had been arrested for public intoxication.. it is disgusting that a cop would think he’s Nancy Grace with his “BREAKING#” news.

    Hopefully a lawsuit would result in this officer losing his job and other officers being more responsible about what they post.

  23. Now, why in the hell is an American police department tweeting out the names of private citizens who have not been convicted? And if there is some good reason to invade someone’s privacy in such a manner, can they not at least make sure they got the right guy?

    Oh, wait. They wouldn’t technically know they got the right guy until someone is convicted anyway, right?

    “Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib has gotten an apology via Twitter from the Dallas Police Department…”

    Oh, Jesus…

  24. im for bringing any kind of trouble/lawsuits against the state of texas or its towns and cities.

  25. This drama is a great sign of the pathetic path the human species is going down with all this “social media” crap. Instead of the police department just doing their damn job they just HAD to go on Twitter and post that. I mean hey, they’d do that for every non celebrity they arrest, correct?

    I hate lawsuits for crap like this yet at the same time it’d be nice to see the moron police department suffer for doing something so dumb.

    The worst part in this is people won’t learn from it and we’ll see more idiot postings and screw ups on Twitter.

  26. Haha, look at all you fools with your excuses for this POS!!! The loser has been arrested for illegal firearms, assault with a deadly weapon, etc in the past, and he’s trying to claim public intox is defamation to character???? LMFAO!!! That’s comical… BTW, yes people drink, and get drunk at nightclubs, however if you start breaking bottles, and causing a disturbance you’re gonna get arrested for public intox, and probably breach of peace as well, LOL. Dummy!!!

  27. Police department who made the error should hand out pink slips to everyone involved. Talib should not sue though since that would only hurt the taxpayers of Dallas.

  28. There is no way he’d win. It was clearly a mistake, and that falls short of the legal standard needed for a victory. He also would have to prove damages.

  29. I am a lawyer and my advice would be to sue, in fact I believe everybody should sue someone a least once a year. Although we seem to do quite a lot of suing there’s always room for improvement.

  30. “Ultimately, Talib’s best play likely will be to lump it and move on. The aggressive pursuit of defamation lawsuits can lead to all sorts of unintended consequences, as Roger Clemens once learned.”

    Actually Talib’s best play would be to “forgive” the DPD in exchange for them making a charitable contribution to a charitable organization (his or one of his choice).

  31. If you’ve got a Q in your name, move on.
    Q names are nothing but trouble. Check it out. You’ll see I’m right.

  32. this is actually thoughtful legal analysis from Florio, and it is the first time I’ve been able to utter such praise since I started visiting this site 5 years ago. keep it up Mike.

  33. I think Talib should probably smile and just say, “You owe me one.” It’s not like he hasn’t met the police several times before when it WAS him AND he’d committed some wrongdoing.

  34. thestrategyexpert.. I swear you use to be just a troll but for a while now you’ve been posting some very logical understandable stuff . Sprinkled in with some trolling . I look for your posts brotha ! Keep trolling my Seahawks lol your spot on in your assessment of this one couldn’t have said it better myself .especially with his past and issues .

  35. OK, let’s never sue the police because taxpayers really pay for it, that’s not AT’s problem.

    He has a bad rep, so it’s ok.

    Sue his brother.

    Some of you people amaze me everyday!

  36. These cops have to be stopped. Do what I did and call the Dallas Police Department’s Media Relations department to complain: (214) 671-4065. Lieutenant Max Geron is the officer responsible for this racist crime. Flood the phones men.

  37. Consider it PAYBACK Talib for the BOGUS pass interference call the pats got against the Browns to hand them the 2 seed last year.

  38. Good and do it!!! The police these days or more concerned with giving tickets for speeding than stopping “real” criminals!!! Hold them accountable as they would anyone else for “mistakes”

  39. and… the first time Talib gets pulled over for speeding, he’s going to wish he did something…. do the right thing!

  40. Since the Talib Brothers already had a horrible reputation… there was no damage done him as a result of this mistake. If anything, It actually helps his tattered reputation.

  41. Max Geron acted quite recklessly I’m this situation. All he had To do was some sole research and he would have caught the mistake. Seems to me the guy didn’t a exercise due diligence and wanted to simply get this piece of juicy gossip out to everyone. We live in a society hell bent on dispersing information to hurt anyone whose a public figure regardless if that information is even remotely true.

  42. I’ll do you one better. Don’t let it go, and don’t sue.

    Go to the PD there and say “I’ll let you forget this whole thing if you go to the nearest children’s hospital and purchase/donate enough tickets for all the long-term children/patients to come see me play when we come to town.”

    It’s called making some good out of a bad situation. In the end, everyone involved would get good publicity to counteract the bad pub from earlier, and help some kids in a bad situation have an enjoyable day. All for the cost of a few hours of legal counsel.

  43. One of these days maybe people will realize that the real losers in frivolous litigation are taxpayers, but not the 1%. It’s people like us.

    Raise your hand if you think McDonalds ate that 10m for a hot coffee spill and didn’t pass it on to you at the drive through.

    That’s being said, police don’t need to announce via anything who they arrested save imminent danger types like at large murder suspects.

  44. Talib got a relatively quick apology which is the most important thing. The other thing would be to have the Twitter account discontinued and possibly have the person that tweeted it sanctioned. It really does make the whole department look bad.

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