It’s a known fact that being a cop is a tough job. It’s already difficult to be a police officer, but doing so in a democratic society where citizens’ rights and dignity are protected is an additional challenge. The United States, as a democratic republic, has had to weigh the relative importance of protecting citizens’ rights and freedom vs maintaining public order.
We’ve reached the conclusion over time that the former is more crucial in a crisis. Thus, our legal and policing systems are designed to give the benefit of the doubt to the accused until they can be proven guilty.
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Federal law protects people who have been hurt by police misconduct or brutality. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says that searches and seizures can’t be done without a good reason and this also applies to other such types of unlawful acts on the part of the police.
This includes police officers using too much force. Officers are also not allowed to treat people differently because of their race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. Anyone who has been detained by an officer who used more force than “reasonable force” or who was violent during an arrest or a search of their property can get help from police brutality lawyers who specialise in police brutality cases.
Police officers have a duty to keep people safe from crime and other unfair acts. But a lot of the time, it’s the officers who are breaking the law. When police act in a way that is too violent, when they bother possible suspects, or when they kill someone who was unarmed and didn’t seem to want to hurt anyone else, they have broken the law. There are lots of cases and scenarios where police officers become brutal and use force and weapons beyond necessity, especially during riots and protests.
Examples of Police Brutality Include:
- Employing the use of lethal force by brandishing firearms, tasers, batons, pepper spray, and other instruments of intimidation and violence
- Arresting you without probable cause or a warrant
- Abuse of a sexual nature, with an emphasis on body searches
- Use of threatening language and other forms of verbal abuse
- Threatening you with discrimination based on your race
- Illegal Searches
- Other use of excessive force during riots or protests
Nevertheless, what consequences arise when law enforcement agencies fail to uphold the law? What happens when police stop protecting and serving and start serving out justice on their own? When their methods become unacceptable, what then?
To put it simply, police brutality occurs when law enforcement officials employ excessive force or other methods that are disproportionate to the situation and/or in violation of the individual’s basic civil and/or human rights. But how can we determine if and when police force is necessary? The question then becomes, how can we recognize when we’ve had enough? At what point does police force become excessive? In order to get a better understanding of this problem, let’s dive in.
Police Brutality and Legal options for the Victim
Whether it’s on the streets of Minneapolis or the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, the unjustified use of force by police may have devastating effects on the community. In the United States and internationally, we have seen too often that racially motivated police brutality can lead to the death or serious injury of suspects.
The person who is the victim of police brutality can bring a case against the police in a court of law with the help of a police brutality lawyer and if the case is won, the plaintiff has to be compensated and the police and aggressors are severely punished. Punishment to a police officer who commits such a violation may include termination and other harsh punishments including jail time.
When confronted with rallies or demonstrations, authorities are quick to employ force.
The vast majority of the time, police officers who use excessive force and cause death or injury are not held accountable. That’s why it’s critical to be aware of your legal protections and the limits of police authority. No more justifications are acceptable for police brutality, and those who kill unjustly must be held accountable.
Police Brutality and International Human Rights
When referring to a variety of human rights breaches committed by police, the term “police brutality” is sometimes used. Examples include the use of excessive force during protests, such as beatings, racial abuse, unlawful killings, torture, or the use of riot control agents arbitrarily.
Police brutality can have devastating consequences, including the loss of life.
Additionally, when the police use unlawful force, they are violating the right to equal treatment under the law, the right to life, liberty, and security, and the right to be free from discrimination.
Police Brutality: When to Hire a Police Brutality Lawyer
Police brutality is a violation of civil rights that can have terrible long-term effects no matter what the circumstances are. Being in a situation where the police have to help you is bad enough, but being a victim of police brutality can make you lose faith in an institution that is supposed to keep you safe.
If a police officer hurts you, a police brutality lawyer can help you fight for your rights and get the compensation you deserve. Since the police can use force if they need to, it can be hard to prove that you were wronged. Your case will be built against an officer who already knows the law and how to best defend their actions, so it helps to have someone on your side who knows the system and how to avoid any legal loopholes.
Police brutality lawyers are there to hear your complaints and back them up with enough evidence and arguments to show that the police crossed the thin line between normal procedures and using too much force. They want to keep Federal law and the Fourth Amendment safe.
Police Brutality in the Shape of False Arrest
People often say that they were wrongfully arrested. When someone says they were wrongfully arrested, they are saying that a police officer broke their Fourth Amendment right that says they can’t be seized without a good reason. If, on the other hand, an officer has “probable cause,” it won’t be looked at as the plaintiff’s rights being violated. Officers can legally arrest someone they think is doing something wrong, even if they don’t have a warrant for a misdemeanour or felony.
Have you been wrongly accused of a crime and/or arrested due to your race? A search of your house by police without a warrant? Did a law enforcement officer shoot and kill a loved one who wasn’t threatening anyone?
If your answers to any of these questions are “yes,” you may have been the victim of police brutality. Seeking the advice of a police brutality lawyer who specialises in cases involving police brutality can help you determine your rights and options as a victim.