Police brutality is the unreasonable or excessive use of force by a police officer (or other law enforcement agent), while acting under the authority of the state. This includes situations like a police officer making a traffic stop or an arrest.
We all understand that sometimes the police must use force. But unfortunately, some police officers go too far, and use force far more brutal than required for them to safely and effectively fulfill their legal responsibility.
Whether this brutality is motivated by dislike or hatred for a group of people, improper training, or simple laziness, the outcome is the same. A person has had their constitutional rights violated, and has suffered – often quite severe – harm.
The victims of police brutality and their families have a legal right to justice and compensation for the harm they have suffered. Morgan & Morgan civil rights attorneys are on call, 24/7, ready to jump into the fight on their behalf.
The Many Forms of Police Brutality
Police brutality can happen in many different ways, including:
- Violent tackling
- Use of chemical sprays like pepper spray or mace
- Dog bites from law enforcement canine units
- Gun shots
Victims can suffer very severe injuries in these incidents, including bruising, broken bones, internal bleeding, lacerations, brain injury, and even death. These are often made worse by a lack of prompt medical attention at the scene.
Hurting The Good Cops, Hurting The Community
Americans in general trust the police departments that serve them. According to a 2018 Gallup poll, 85% of Americans trusted the police a “great deal” (54%) or “some” (31%). This is a testament to the fact that the majority of police officers are well-trained professionals who have dedicated their lives to public service. But just like any other group of people, there are always going to be some bad apples in the bunch.
When those “bad apples” commit police brutality, it doesn’t just harm the victim, it often begins a vicious cycle that hurts everyone involved.
- Police officer uses excessive force against a member of a community
- Community trust in the police is reduced
- Hostility and aggression towards the police is increased
- The police feel more threatened
- The police are more likely to use violent force due to fear for their own safety
- The community is less willing to work with the police
- Fewer crimes get solved, more dangerous criminals stay on the street
- The neighborhood is less safe
- The personal safety of the police force is reduced
Nobody wins, everyone loses. And this doesn’t even get into the millions upon millions of dollars that governments across the country have to pay to the victims of these incidents; money that could be going to improving the lives of their citizens. In 2018 alone, New York City paid more than $230 million to settle claims against the New York Police Department.
But there is hope. Police departments across the country are working hard to improve their training and protocols in order to limit further police brutality incidents. Nothing helps a police department get better at serving and protecting the people like being held accountable for misconduct.
Ready to Fight For You
If you or a loved one suffered harm as a result of a police brutality incident, it can feel like an impossible task to see justice done. In the wake of such incidents, many police departments will try to cover it up and deny responsibility; and other officers at the scene are unlikely to try and hold fellow officers accountable. And to make it all worse, many of the laws on the books are heavily slanted in the favor of law enforcement.
But there is hope. The tide is slowly turning around the country, and there has never been a better time for a police brutality victim to come forward and fight for justice and compensation. Morgan & Morgan civil rights attorneys can help you do that.
Our services are always 100% free unless we win, and we have the resources to see these difficult cases all the way through. That means you don’t have to worry about finding the money to finance a legal fight against the deep-pockets of the government, and can just focus on recovery and putting life back together.
Call today. We’ll review your case for free, and treat you with all the care, discretion, and respect you deserve.
Who is getting sued in police brutality lawsuits? This can vary greatly depending on the city or state where the incident took place, as well as other details of the incident. Contact our lawyers today to get your case reviewed for free.
Can I really hire your firm for free? Yes. Our civil rights lawyers work under the “contingency fee” model, which means that they don’t get paid anything up front, and only get paid if they win your case at trial or negotiate a final settlement (that you must approve). If that does happen, they will receive a percentage of the compensation amount as payment.
I don’t think the cop who did this is a bad person, they just made a mistake. Should I still pursue a claim? 100%. Many cases of police brutality involve police officers who were just having a bad day or panicked and made a mistake. But it is still imperative to hold them accountable, because that is the most effective way we have seen to cause positive change within police departments. A government that is forced to pay out an expensive verdict or settlement is one that is motivated to make sure it doesn’t happen again; which means better training and protocols in the future.
How can I prevent police brutality from happening to me? We wish we knew. Some of the worst cases of police brutality have happened to completely innocent people who were just minding their own business. But one thing that could help is installing a dash camera in your vehicle, and always being quick to pull out your camera and start filming when an encounter with the police starts getting out of control. Even if this doesn’t prevent an instance of abuse, the footage may at least help you pursue justice and compensation.
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