Police officers are supposed to serve and protect their community. However, when a police officer uses excessive or unnecessary force, he can cause serious injuries or fatalities.
Victims of police brutality are not alone in their fight for justice. Defending yourself against the community’s police department can be intimidating, but an experienced attorney from the Trial Lawyers for Justice can stand by your side every step of the way.
Explaining Police Brutality
Police officers are trained to control a situation with as little force as possible. They are not supposed to use a great deal of force unless the circumstances call for it. If a police officer is using excessive or unnecessary force, this is known as police brutality. Excessive force means using force beyond what is needed to take control of a situation. It may involve the use of batons, guns, nerve gas, and pepper spray. Although police brutality is often physical, it can also be psychological, verbal, or sexual abuse.
Race is often a factor in police brutality cases, but it doesn’t have to be. Anyone can be a victim of police brutality regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, or race. If you experienced police brutality during an arrest for a crime that you did commit, you are still able to pursue a civil lawsuit. Some people assume they cannot file a lawsuit if they experienced police brutality while being arrested for a crime, but that’s not the case. Guilty or innocent, police officers are not allowed to use excessive force.
Escalating Police Brutality Complaints
Each police department has its own procedure for investigating complaints related to police brutality. If you have been a victim of police brutality, you should always file a complaint with the police department to launch the investigation. You will need to provide as much information as possible in this complaint, including photos of your injuries, and statements from witnesses, if possible. The Internal Affairs unit within the police department is responsible for investigating these complaints and disciplining police officers who are found to be guilty of police brutality. However, police officers can often argue and say the use of force was justified and therefore they should not be disciplined for their actions. Many police officers will not receive any penalties after an internal investigation is concluded.
Victims who are not happy with the outcome of the internal investigation—or victims who would like help with filing the complaint—should always speak with an attorney. Even if the police department did not find anything wrong with the police officer’s behavior, you may still be able to file a civil lawsuit in an attempt to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Legal Help is Available For Victims of Police Brutality
Who do you turn to when the people who are supposed to protect you are the ones who have caused you harm? If you or a loved one is a victim of police brutality, contact the Trial Lawyers for Justice as soon as possible. Our team of attorneys can help you defend your rights and seek justice. Call 888-811-0844 to schedule a free consultation today.