While the police have the power to carry out the duties of their job, they still must follow the law and proper protocols. Recent studies show that law enforcement is more likely to use excessive force against certain groups. Recognizing police brutality or misconduct lets people protect their rights and stop future abuses. We will go over common civil rights issues and what to do if you believe you have experienced police brutality and/or misconduct.
Understanding the forms of police misconduct
Police officers cannot be sued when reasonably carrying out typical job duties. Officers can have a civil claim brought against them if they show deliberate, unreasonable conduct that infringes on a person’s constitutional rights.
There are many actions which can qualify as police misconduct, including:
- False arrest: Law enforcement can violate a person’s fourth amendment rights by arresting them without probable cause. Although, a police officer can arrest someone while acting on false information as long as the officer believed that information was accurate at the time of an arrest.
- Excessive force: Police officers can use reasonable force against a suspect during an arrest. The type of force considered reasonable depends on the unique circumstances of a case and the presence of perceived threats.
- Coerced confessions: Law enforcement can cross the line when interrogating a suspect of an alleged crime. Police officers may illegally try to get an involuntary confession by beating, restraining or otherwise coercing a suspect.
What to do if you experience police misconduct
You should contact a civil rights attorney as soon as possible if you believe that you experienced police misconduct. Suspects in criminal cases have a right to an attorney during the interrogation process. A lawyer can investigate your civil rights claim and tell you how to protect your constitutional rights.