Police brutality has made headlines over the last few years, but the truth is it’s been around since law enforcement agencies were first established. Although many instances of police brutality are racially motivated, anyone can be a victim of this heinous crime.
You may feel as if you have no legal options available to you if your rights have been violated by a police officer, but that’s not the case. If you are a victim of police brutality, and have been injured as a result of the officer’s actions, seek legal representation from a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation for the physical and emotional pain you have suffered as a result of the police misconduct.
Defining Police Brutality
Police officers should never use more force than needed to handle a situation. If a police offer uses excessive or unnecessary force during an encounter with civilians, this is referred to as police brutality.
Although police brutality is often associated with physical assaults, it can take many other forms. For example, verbal abuse, false arrests, sexual abuse, and psychological intimidation can all be considered forms of police brutality.
What To Do After Your Rights Have Been Violated
It’s very likely that police brutality will occur while you are being arrested for committing a crime. If this is the case, be sure to exercise your right to remain silent and do not resist the arrest.
Pay attention to everything that happens during this time. Take mental notes and write everything down as soon as you can get to paper. You should also contact an attorney if you feel your rights have been violated by a police officer. Tell them exactly what happened so they can take notes and begin their investigation.
If you have been injured, ask for medical attention while you are in custody or go to a doctor immediately following your release. Keep a copy of your medical records so you have proof that the injuries existed. It can be difficult to prove that police brutality occurred, so the more evidence you have to support your case, the better.
Your attorney will handle the legal aspects of your case from this point on. Do not go public with your complaint or speak to any law enforcement officer regarding your allegations without consulting with your attorney first.
There are usually not many—if any—witnesses to police brutality outside of law enforcement officers. Unfortunately, many law enforcement officers may choose to protect fellow officers instead of telling the truth about what happened, which complicates cases involving police brutality. Police officers may try to claim that they felt threatened by you or that you were resisting arrest at the time of the incident. Because of the difficulties associated with proving police brutality, it’s imperative that you work with an attorney who has experience in this specific field.
Are You A Victim of Police Brutality?
It may be intimidating to take legal action against law enforcement officers, but it’s important that you hold those individuals accountable and protect your rights. Don’t hesitate to contact Carpenter, Zuckerman, and Rowley today if you believe you have been a victim of police brutality.