If you have been injured or beaten by a Philadelphia police officer, or you are concerned that your constitutional rights were violated, do not let it be swept under the rug. Police officers are supposed to protect people from harm, not put them in danger. You deserve a full investigation into the officer’s conduct. The officer should be held accountable for his or her misconduct. Additionally, you may be entitled to compensation for a violation of your civil rights. Below, we will discuss how to file a formal complaint against a Philadelphia police officer.

Steps to Submit a Complaint Against a Philadelphia Police Officer

Residents of Philadelphia have the option of completing a complaint against a Philadelphia police officer online. You can fill out a complaint for the officer on the City of Philadelphia’s website. The Police Advisory Commission (PAC) manages complaints against police officers and sends them to the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) Internal Affairs Division. Philadelphia residents can directly file claims against the Philadelphia Police Department, but the PAC acts as an intermediary. 


Filing a Complaint on the Philadelphia Police Department Website

If you would like to file a complaint with the Philadelphia Police Department itself, you can do so online. The Philadelphia Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau is in charge of investigating allegations of police misconduct. Every time they receive a complaint from a citizen, they should ensure that the allegations are investigated in a thorough, fair, and timely manner. 

Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and some complaints can be brushed off. Working with an attorney can help you ensure that your complaint is investigated. If you do not want to file an online complaint form, you can also fill out a paper version and submit it to the police department. You will need to include the following information in the complaint:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your age
  • Your date of birth
  • Your gender
  • Your race
  • Your occupation
  • Your email 
  • Your phone number


We Protect Philadelphia Citizens From Police Brutality

In addition to finding out your basic contact information, you will also need to describe the incident in question. After being involved in a police misconduct incident, you may feel shocked, scared, and like you do not know what to do. We recommend writing down what happened as soon as possible after the incident, so you do not forget any important details. In most cases, the more details you can provide, the more investigation can be done into your claim. When you submit a police complaint, you will need to include the following details about the incident:

  • Information about the alleged victim of the incident, including his or her full name, phone number, email, and address. You can fill out a police complaint on behalf of another person, such as a child, elderly adult, or a person with special needs who cannot fill out the form themselves.
  • If you are assisting the victim of police misconduct, you will need to provide your contact information, as well.
  • Any witnesses to the police misconduct, including their contact information.
  • You will need to include the full name of the officer involved in the incident, his or her rank, badge number, and district. You can state whether the officer was in uniform, on duty, and what type of transportation the officer was using when the incident occurred. If you have the officer’s vehicle number, license plate number, gender, age, and race, you can enter those details, as well. Most victims of police brutality or misconduct do not remember all of these details about the officer involved. However, you must share whatever details you remember. There is also a space on the complaint form for additional officer details. Be sure to include any other details you notice about the officer in question.
  • If there was a second police officer involved in the incident, you could include information about that officer, too.


Describing the Police Misconduct in Your Report

You will need to include a detailed description of the incident. The description of events is one of the most critical parts of your complaint. You will need to include the date and time of the incident. If you are not sure of the exact date or time, you can estimate. There is also space for you to include the location of the incident. The report will ask you for a detailed description of the incident. You can either type the description into the text box or upload a file you have already created, such as a Word document. 

You can also upload any photos of the incident you have. If you have been injured in an incident of  police brutality, we recommend taking photos of your injuries. Sharing photos of your injuries or photos of the incident you took with your cell phone can be crucial to proving that the incident occurred. If there were other witnesses, you might want to ask them to type up a witness account of the event. 

You can submit their account of events as well as yours to add credibility to your claim. Finally, once you have included all of the information mentioned above, you will need to confirm that all of the information you have included is true and correct. You will need to provide an electronic signature and the date. 


Contact a Philadelphia Civil Rights Lawyer Today

Have you been the victim of unlawful imprisonment, excessive force, or any other type of police brutality in Philadelphia? If so, it is worth filing a complaint with the Philadelphia Police Department. We recommend discussing your case with a lawyer who can ensure that the police department receives your complaint. Depending on your case, you may be entitled to compensation. The civil rights lawyers at Abramson & Denenberg, P.C. can help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.