One of the most fearsome and troubling forms of abuse that can happen is police brutality, or excessive force.
What Is Police Brutality?
Police officers are often put into situations where they must use some measure of force to either subdue a suspect or protect themselves from harm. There are, however, limits. The force must be both justified and limited to exactly what is necessary to accomplish their lawful purpose of detention or protection. They must use force in accordance with both existing law and the values of the police department, and they must not get carried away with the desire to lash out, retaliate, or simply inflict pain upon individuals around them.
Police may overstep the line into brutality, for example, when they:
Assault a suspect or bystander. When police detain someone, they can employ “reasonable force.” That means sufficient force to subdue someone, wrest their weapons from them, and handcuff or otherwise detain them. Police may not proceed to punch, kick, choke, bite, scratch, or otherwise harm either suspects or bystanders. Unfortunately, many officers go far past the line of what is necessary.
Overuse tasers. Tasers can be an effective nonlethal method of subduing a suspect. They are also, however, extremely dangerous when used improperly. A Taser can do more than just incapacitate: It can cause a body’s electrical systems to shut down or lead to cardiac arrest. Use of a Taser must be both justified and extremely limited given the inherent danger.
Overuse pepper spray. Pepper spray, like Tasers, can be an effective, nonlethal method of subduing or incapacitating a suspect. Pepper spray is also extremely painful and can cause lasting damage to a person’s eyes. When police use pepper spray without justification, such as employing it to punish protestors, or when they overuse it by continually spraying in a suspect’s eyes as a form of torture, they cross the line into brutality and misconduct.
Employ choke holds. Several high-profile cases of police brutality have involved the use of choke holds. Cutting off a person’s oxygen to their brain can easily cause unconsciousness, brain damage, and even death. Choke holds are simply not permitted as a form of restraint for suspects unless extremely serious circumstances exist.
Compensation for Police Brutality
If you have been the victim of unjust police violence, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries. Under State and Federal law, you can bring a claim against the officer and department for whom the officer works for damages.
Depending on your situation, you may be entitled to a significant monetary recovery. Victims of police brutality can recover for all the damages caused by police misconduct, including the following:
- Past and future medical bills;
- Past and future physician pain and suffering;
- Pain and future mental pain and suffering;
- Past and future lost wages; and
- Wrongful death
Zealous Police Brutality Lawyer Fighting for Your Rights
Because police brutality occurs at the hands of the government and the very people we would ordinarily turn to if we are attacked, it can be especially confusing and scary about where to turn for justice. If you or someone you care about was hurt or mistreated or the victim of police brutality in Las Vegas or greater Florida, protect your rights and seek justice for the harm you have suffered. Reach out to the aggressive and trial-ready personal injury lawyer at Real Injury Attorney. Daniel Ryan has taken on some the largest police departments and municipalities in the country for excessive force and violation of civil rights, and prevailed. Call today. Your call is free, and there’s no fee until we win compensation for you.