Definition of Police Brutality
Definition of Police Brutality
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Definition of Police Brutality
The term “police brutality” refers to the unwarranted and often illegal use of force by police officers against civilians. While there are many good police officers out there, a few bad ones give the police force a bad name. This article discusses the issue of police brutality in the United States, including what to do if you or a loved one is a victim of brutality.
Shocking Statistics About Police Brutality in the United States
The problem of police brutality is often talked about on different platforms such as social media, radio and TV shows, newspapers, and so on. But despite that, not so many people grasp the actual effects of police brutality. Unfortunately for the victims and society in general, this topic is often politicized, making it even more difficult to solve.
Here are some shocking statistics about police brutality in the US. These statistics show just how serious this issue is and why it is becoming increasingly important to address it in its entirety.
In 2021, at least 1065 people died due to police brutality, according to a report from the Washington Post.
Another study revealed that Black men were 2.9 times more likely to be killed by police officers than White men.
The study further reveals that more than 1000 people have been killed each year by the police for the last five years.
More than half of police killings in the United States are unreported, another study found.
The year 2021 recorded the highest number of police killings, more than any other year in the recent past.
More than 97% of individuals killed by police in 2021 died due to gunshot wounds.
Out of all police killings in 2021, only 12 police officers were charged with a crime, accounting for only 1% of the killings.
And here's the more shocking part:
Most of these killings occurred when the police responded to non-violent incidents. To put things into perspective, at least 117 people died after being pulled over for a traffic violation.
If you or your loved one is a victim of police brutality, an experienced attorney might be able to help.
But first things first, let's discuss some common examples of police brutality. Knowing what counts as brutality by the police will help you understand the best course of action to take in the event that you or your loved one is a victim.
Examples of Police Brutality
Police brutality is a term that describes different forms of misconduct by the police, usually those that involve violence. Some common examples include:
The police have a tough job—there's no doubt about that. But certain unnecessary actions by rogue police officers might warrant the need for a lawsuit.
Under normal circumstances, police might be allowed to use force if it is reasonable. For example, when a suspect arrested and detained for a crime attempts to escape, the police might be required to use force to restrain them.
On the other hand, if the suspect complies with the police, then using physical force might not be reasonable. In that case, the officers involved might be held responsible for the injuries the suspect sustains due to the use of force. This is a form of assault.
The statistics above clearly show that racial discrimination might trigger police brutality. However, it is illegal for a police officer to discriminate against you based on race. And if they use force against you for such a reason, you may be able to sue them for their actions.
It is illegal for police officers to intimidate you. Again, this is a form of police brutality. This is because police officers are public servants. They are employed by the people to serve and protect them. Despite all this, some officers abuse the privilege of being a public servant, especially one with access to deadly weapons and tasked with maintaining law and order.
A good example of intimidation by police is when a rogue officer threatens you against filing a complaint against them. This could be someone you know who just harassed you in the streets.
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I Am a Victim of Police Brutality. What Should I Do?
If you are a victim of police brutality, it is important that you know what to do next. Here are some tips to always keep in mind:
Don't respond to police brutality with violence or aggressiveness. Remember, rogue police officers will want to get a reaction from you in order to justify their actions. For this reason, try as much as possible to stay calm throughout the incident.
As mentioned before, police officers might be required to use force if the suspect attacks the officer or avoids arrest by fleeing. The last thing you want to do is give rogue officers an excuse to use excessive force against you.
Remember, the more you resist, the harder it is for you. While this is heartbreaking and difficult to swallow, especially when you know you have done nothing wrong to warrant such brutality, you shouldn't take matters into your own hands.
Instead, stay compliant. Do not give the officers a reason to justify their actions. They will use this reason to defend themselves later.
Any form of evidence can help prove your case. For instance, was there any video recording of the incident? Did anyone watch the incident? Did you suffer any physical injuries during the incident? All these could count as evidence against the rogue officers.
Collect as much evidence as you can. Don't leave it out even if you're unsure if it counts as evidence. It's better to have your evidence dismissed than not have any evidence at all.
Contact an Attorney
Because some rogue officers act like they're above the law, you need someone who understands the law to represent you. An experienced civil rights lawyer can help build a strong case against the officer and determine the best course of action.
How Can an Attorney Help if I Am a Victim of Police Brutality?
Contacting a civil rights lawyer after a police brutality incident has many benefits. Here's what such an attorney can do for you:
Case evaluation: An experienced attorney can help review your case to determine whether it counts as police brutality. The law protects police officers up to a certain extent. For this reason, you must ensure you have a valid case before proceeding to the next step.
A seasoned attorney can help review your case and determine its validity. If valid, they will walk you through the next steps.
Case investigation: If you have a valid police brutality case, the attorney will help investigate the incident. Remember when we mentioned the importance of collecting evidence? The attorney will review the existing evidence and decide whether to add more or it is strong enough.
However, it is understandable that you may not be able to collect evidence, depending on how the incident occurred. In that case, an experienced attorney knows where to start collecting evidence against the rogue officer.
Legal remedy: After building a case against the rogue officers, your attorney will help you pursue the best possible legal remedy for your case. It is important to note that the best legal remedy usually depends on the specific circumstances of your case.
What Are Some Legal Remedies For Police Brutality?
There are many different legal remedies for police brutality. However, the following three are the most common:
Filing a Complaint
The attorney might help you file a complaint against the rogue officer or police department.
If you have been charged with a crime, a criminal defense attorney can petition to have any evidence gathered against you as a result of misconduct dropped. This is because such evidence might have been obtained illegally.
Filing a Lawsuit
It is illegal for police officers to violate anyone's rights under the color of law. The term 'color of law' refers to when an individual acts in a way that might seem legal but, in actual sense, it is not. Let's look at a rogue police officer's conduct as an example.
When a police officer arrests someone in the streets, members of the public rarely intervene. This is because police officers are required to maintain law and order, and arresting lawbreakers is part of the job.
However, most people don't realize that it is illegal for police officers to arrest anyone without probable cause. In other words, if there is no reason for arrest, then the arrest should not happen in the first place.
A successful lawsuit can lead to any of the following remedies or even both:
Injunction: This is a court order that compels one party to carry out a certain act. For example, the injunction could require the police department to retrain its officers, update its policies, etc.
Monetary compensation: Depending on the nature of your case, you may be eligible for monetary compensation. A good example is if you sustained severe injuries requiring surgeries. In that case, an injunction alone might not be enough to remedy the situation.
For this reason, your attorney might file a claim to have you compensated for your injuries. As a result, you may recover damages such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages if you couldn't work due to your injuries, and so on.
How Much Can I Recover From a Police Brutality Lawsuit?
Without a case evaluation, it is impossible to tell the specific amount of compensation you may be able to recover, that is, if you have a valid case against a police officer, department, or both. Speaking with an experienced attorney can help determine what to expect as compensation for your injuries.
A seasoned attorney will review both economic and non-economic damages suffered due to police brutality. It is only after evaluating these factors that your lawyer will inform you about the compensation to expect if you win the lawsuit.
Where Can I Find a Good Lawyer if I Am a Victim of Police Brutality?
When you search for personal injury attorneys near you, chances are you will be overwhelmed by the search results. However, given that police officers are protected by law to a certain extent, it is important to work with an experienced attorney when dealing with these kinds of cases.
And when looking for such an attorney, your search ends at Morgan and Morgan.
Why Morgan and Morgan?
Morgan and Morgan, the largest personal injury law firm in the country, has over three decades of experience handling these kinds of cases. However, when it comes to cases regarding police brutality, experience is not the only thing to look for when searching for the right attorney. Factors such as the track record, reputation, and the availability of legal resources to pursue such cases are also equally important.
That's where Morgan and Morgan comes in. Our law firm comprises over 800 personal injury attorneys specializing in various aspects of injury law. That's what you need when seeking the best legal advice and representation.
For example, there are different ways to approach a police brutality case. There are times when it may be necessary to involve a civil rights lawyer. You may also need a criminal defense attorney if you were charged with a crime. Rather than work with different law firms, Morgan and Morgan gives you access to the country's best team of injury lawyers all under one roof.
Contact Morgan and Morgan Police Brutality Lawyers
The issue of police brutality is spiraling out of control. It's everywhere in the news, in the streets, and at the heart of our communities. Now is the time to take action against officers who abuse their powers by inflicting injuries on members of the public.
Remember, police officers are employed by the public. They are public servants. Therefore, you deserve to hold them accountable for their actions.
If you or your loved one has been injured by a rogue police officer, we might be able to help you fight back. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.