The Philadelphia Police Department is supposed to protect and serve Philadelphia residents. However, there have been frequent incidents of police officers beating, stealing from, verbally harassing, and wrongfully arresting Philadelphia residents. The Philadelphia district attorney Larry Krasner recently released a report that accused Philadelphia law enforcement officials of winning convictions through unjust means. 

The report provides evidence of police officers coercing confessions from suspects through abuse, planting evidence, lying in court, and even fabricating confessions. The report also states that city prosecutors frequently covered up these abuses and pushed for excessively harsh penalties against defendants.


What to Do if You Have Been the Victim of Police Misconduct

Victims of police misconduct in Philadelphia have the right to file an official complaint against the police officer involved. Has your loved one been harassed, threatened, or injured by a Philadelphia police officer? If so, the experienced lawyers at Abramson & Denenberg, P.C. can help you file an official complaint against the Philadelphia Police Department.

Additionally, if a police officer used excessive force on you when you were arrested, you may have the right to pursue compensation through a civil rights lawsuit in civil court. Suppose you are unsure whether you have a valid compensation claim. In that case, we recommend setting up an initial consultation to discuss your case with one of our lawyers, who will review your case and provide you with your best legal options.


Making Accurate Statements in Complaints Against Police Officers

Before you file a complaint with the Philadelphia Police Department, it is essential to understand that deliberately making a false accusation is considered a crime under Philadelphia law. Filing a false complaint against a police officer intentionally or exaggerating the circumstances you write down on your complaint can lead you to be criminally prosecuted. There is the potential that if you are convicted, you will face jail time and fines. It is crucial that you provide the details of what happened as accurately as possible in your complaint.


How to File a Complaint Against a Philadelphia Police Officer

The city of Philadelphia has a website where victims of police brutality or misconduct can file an online complaint. The Philadelphia Police Department is responsible for protecting Philadelphia citizens. The Internal Affairs Bureau investigates allegations of misconduct by police officers. After they receive your complaints, they must provide a thorough, fair, and timely investigation of the allegations in the complaint. 

There are two ways to begin the process of filing a complaint against the Philadelphia police officer. You can download the form and mail in a paper version of the complaint or submit the complaint online. When you are preparing your complaint, take some time to make sure you have provided as many accurate and relevant details as you can remember about the incident. Try to include information like the name of the officer-involved and where the incident occurred. Ensure that your name and phone number are written down on the form so that investigators can contact you to ask you further questions about the incident.


Filing a Claim Against a Philadelphia Police Officer Online

If you would like to file a complaint against a police officer online, you can do so using the Philadelphia Police Department’s “File an Official Complaint” form from their website. You will be able to include information regarding the misconduct. After you submit the application online, the internal affairs division Commander will begin reviewing their complaint. You will need to include the following information in your online claim:

  • Your contact information, address, age, date of birth, gender, race, occupation, phone number, and email.
  • The alleged victim of the incident
  • Any person assisting the victim
  • Witnesses to the incident
  • The name of the officer who allegedly engaged in the misconduct
  • The officer’s rank
  • The  officer’s badge number
  • Any other information about the officer, his vehicle, or his features
  • You can also include information about a second officer who engaged in misconduct
  • A detailed description of the complaint
  • The date and time of the incident
  • The location of the incident
  • A detailed description of the incident

At the end of the form, you can upload pictures or your own document. Finally, you will need to sign a confirmation that all of the information you have included is true and correct. As mentioned above, you could face criminal penalties if any of the information is false or exaggerated.


Why You Need an Experienced Lawyer

The process of filing a complaint against a police officer online is relatively straightforward. You can enter the information requested online and digitally sign your statement. You may be wondering whether you need a lawyer to help you file your complaint against the police department. A lawyer can help you pursue justice after police misconduct has occurred. A recent study revealed that between 2015 and 2020, fewer than 1% of all complaints filed against the Philadelphia Police Department resulted in formal discipline.

The police advisory committee found that misconduct investigators did not uphold a single civil rights complaint filed by the resident during this period. The report also discovered that the average Internal Affairs investigation into a complaint took double the time limit of 90 days. All of these facts highlight that the process for filing a complaint is broken. Whether you decide to file a complaint with the city of Philadelphia or pursue a civil lawsuit against the officer for brutality, an attorney will fight for your rights and advocate for your interest. 

In many cases, investigators take cases more seriously when a lawyer represents the victim. Additionally, a lawyer can advise you whether filing a complaint is your best option or whether you should pursue damages for a civil rights violation in the form of police brutality.


Consult With an Experienced Lawyer Today

Have you been injured by a Philadelphia police officer, or have you been the victim of police misconduct? If so, the Philadelphia civil rights lawyers at Abramson & Denenberg, P.C. are here to help. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation to discuss your case with one of our skilled civil rights lawyers.