What to Do if I Was Intimidated by Police?

What to Do if I Was Intimidated by Police?

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What to Do if I Was Intimidated by Police?

Police officers all over the United States are entrusted to maintain law and order. They do this by serving and protecting our communities. While many police officers are good people, a few bad ones give this profession a bad name. 

It is possible to take legal action against a rogue police officer. In fact, depending on the specifics of the case, you may be able to sue the police department. Therefore, it is advisable to speak with an experienced attorney immediately if you feel a police officer has violated your rights or intimidated you. 

It is also important to note that police officers enjoy more protection in these kinds of cases. However, they are not above the law. 

Here are a few tips to remember if a rogue police officer intimidates you or your loved one.

Stay Calm and Comply

When a rogue police officer intimidates or harasses you, chances are they hope to get a reaction from you. Unfortunately, most people fall for this trap by losing their temper. When that happens, such an officer will likely cite the individual's reaction to justify their actions.

For example, suppose you react violently after being intimidated by a police officer. In that case, the officer could have you arrested for assault, which is a crime. For this reason, it is always important to stay calm and comply, even when you feel the officer is wrong. Their actions will only strengthen your case.

Document the Incident

Rogue police officers often abuse their powers to portray a sense of authority over ordinary citizens. For this reason, there is always a high probability that an officer who intimidates you for no reason will not do it only once. This is especially true if the officer knows you or has a personal grudge against you.

Below is a hypothetical example of such a situation.

John and Mark have been best friends since high school. During their usual nights out, the two boys meet a girl named Jane. Upon realizing that Jane is single, Mark starts dating her. John, also interested in Jane, cannot accept that his best friend is dating Jane, a woman he is also interested in. 

John bears a grudge and begins to treat his friend Mark unfairly. The two friends no longer hang out together. After years of unfair treatment, Mark decides to end his friendship with John and focus on his relationship with Jane. On the other hand, John joins the police force and abuses his power by constantly harassing and intimidating Mark. 

In this case, Mark will need to document each incident by answering questions such as:

  • What exactly did officer John do?
  • When did the incident happen?
  • Where did the incident happen?
  • What exactly did officer John say?
  • Was the officer on duty or off duty?
  • How frequently has this happened?
  • Did anyone else notice the incident?
  • If so, did Mark record the contact information of the witnesses?
  • Does Mark have any form of evidence to prove their case? (e.g., text messages, surveillance cameras, etc.)

When such a case is properly documented, an experienced attorney can help string the facts together and determine the best course of action to take against the rogue officer. 
 
As mentioned earlier, there are times when you might be able to take legal action against more than one party, in this case, the police officer and the department they work for. Again, using the hypothetical example we discussed earlier, let's assume Mark filed a complaint with the local police department where officer John worked. 

In that case, if the police department did nothing about John's conduct, allowing him to keep harassing and intimidating you, then you might be able to hold them accountable for your injuries. 

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

It is not easy to bring a case against a police officer. Although they are not above the law, they enjoy a lot of protection when exercising their duties. As a result, there is a thin line between police misconduct and what is considered reasonable. 

Working with an experienced attorney can significantly influence your case. And if you are unsure whether you need an attorney to handle that specific case, here are ways an attorney can help. 

Your Lawyer Will Evaluate Your Case

In order to file a lawsuit or claim against a police officer, you must have legal grounds to do so. Speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney is one of the best ways to determine whether you have a valid claim.

This is because attorneys understand how laws work both at the state and federal levels. For this reason, they will examine your case to determine whether that particular officer broke the law. And if they broke the law, the attorney can help you determine the best course of action to take. 

At Morgan and Morgan, we will evaluate your case for free. And if you have a valid claim, we will help you build a strong case to justify the need for compensation. All you have to do is fill out our free case evaluation form. Then, one of our representatives will get in touch with you within 24 hours to discuss your case.

Building a Strong Case Against the Rogue Officer

You will not win your case against an officer who intimidates you unless you have strong evidence. Remember, police officers understand the law and how to navigate certain legal hurdles that could otherwise ruin their careers. They know what counts as evidence and what does not. In some cases, rogue officers may even destroy evidence that could be used against them in court. 

But you should not be worried about that when you have an attorney fighting for you. This is because most attorneys are also skilled investigators. They can help build a strong case against the other party because they know what counts as crucial evidence and how to obtain it. For instance, surveillance footage could be used as evidence against the rogue police officer. An experienced attorney knows how to obtain such footage and make the most out of it as far as building a strong case is concerned. 

However, to obtain this kind of evidence, it is important that you work with a lawyer that has access to powerful legal resources. The truth is, not every law firm you see online or in your local area can handle such cases. At Morgan and Morgan, we have some of the most powerful resources to fight for our clients. We are not one of those law firms that settle for less just because they cannot fund the case anymore. Just as long as we believe that you have a valid claim against the other party, we will do whatever it takes to prove it.

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  • What Damages Can I Recover if I Sue the Police?

    The kind of damages you may recover from a lawsuit against the police varies depending on various factors. For example, when suing for intimidation, you may be able to recover general damages. These damages mostly cover the non-economic impact of the officer's actions.

    Here are a few examples of such damages:

    Pain and Suffering

    If the officer's actions caused you severe pain and suffering, you might be able to recover these damages in your claim or lawsuit. 

    Mental Distress

    Dealing with a rogue police officer can cause you great mental distress. You will likely struggle with stress, anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. For this reason, you may be able to include mental distress as part of the damages caused by the officer's conduct. 

    Economic Damages

    In some cases, victims of police intimidation may also incur economic damages. These are the kinds of damages that lead to loss of money in one way or another. For example, if you suffer extreme anxiety and stress after a traumatic experience with a rogue officer, preventing you from going to work, you may need therapy. Your attorney could include the cost of therapy as part of the economic damages you incurred. The lawyer might also include loss of income in the list of damages because you took time off from work to attend therapy and other medical appointments deriving from the encounter with the officer. 

    Punitive Damages

    Punitive damages are not the kind of damages that your attorney will include in your claim. Instead, the court usually awards compensation for this damage if the jury feels the defendant acted extremely recklessly, causing harm to the plaintiff. 

    As the name suggests, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for their reckless actions. Also, they are meant to warn other parties that they will not get away with such reckless actions. 

  • When Should I Contact an Attorney if I Was Intimidated by Police?

    Since the process of filing a claim or lawsuit against an individual police officer or the entire department is complicated, it is always advisable to contact an attorney right away. When it comes to personal injury cases, the more you delay the claims process, the harder it is to prove your case. Also, bear in mind that these cases are time-sensitive. For this reason, you may not be able to file a claim if the statute of limitations has expired. 

  • How Can I Prove That I Was Intimidated by Police?

    Each case is unique. After listening to your case, your attorney will determine the best form of evidence to bring against the rogue officer or the department they work for. Generally, to prove intimidation, you or your attorney must:

    • Show that the accused officer has a history of misconduct. An experienced attorney can help investigate the officer to prove this element.
    • Prove that the officer did not have any legal reason to support their actions. Normally, police officers are protected by the law to a certain extent. For example, in some instances, they may be allowed to use violence if that is the only reasonable thing to do. For this reason, you must be able to prove that the officer's conduct was not protected by the law. This is also something a seasoned attorney might be able to help you with.
    • Demonstrate that you were harmed by the officer's action. Again, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you prove this element. If successful, you may be able to recover the damages stated above or even more.
  • How Can Morgan and Morgan Help if I Was Intimidated by Police?

    Although hiring an experienced attorney to represent you is always advisable, the choice of attorney will influence your claim. 

    Here is how Morgan and Morgan can help: 

    We have powerful legal resources to investigate such claims. Moreover, our attorneys are never afraid to take on even the most powerful government employees if that's what it takes to fight for our client's rights.

    We have a team of over 800 injury attorneys ready to fight for you. So whether you need a civil rights attorney or a general personal injury lawyer, we will match your case with the right attorney. 

    At Morgan and Morgan, we are not one of those law firms that are all talk without action. Instead, we have the results to prove our competence. 

    When it comes to personal injury litigation, no other law firm in the United States beats Morgan and Morgan. We are the largest injury law firm in the country.

    Experience is one of the most important things you need to consider when looking for an attorney to represent you. Gladly, that is not something you need to worry about when you work with a Morgan and Morgan attorney. Our law firm alone has existed for over three decades. 

    That said, we only hire the best attorneys to handle our client's cases. And if the other party is not willing to settle, they will see us in court. 

    Sometimes, it may be necessary for the police department to change its policies or retrain its officers. For such actions to be taken, you need powerful attorneys to fight for change. 

    Do not suffer in silence. If you have been intimidated by police, you deserve to be heard and, most likely, compensated. Contact us today for a free case evaluation

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