When police officers use excessive force, the injured party has a right to pursue compensation because their Fourth Amendment rights have been violated. Victims of police brutality and their loved ones have a legal right to justice and compensation for the injuries they have suffered.
What is Police Brutality?
Police brutality is defined as the excessive or unwarranted display of force by police officers against civilians. Police brutality is a violation of your civil rights. Examples of police brutality can include, but are not limited to:
- Physical assault and beatings
- Excessive or unnecessary force
- Inmate abuse
- Wrongful shootings
- Wrongful death
When Do Police Cross the Line Into Using Excessive Force?
Police officers do have the authority to use force in limited circumstances. When justified, police officers can conduct a stop for investigation, arrest a suspect, or search a home. They also have the authority to detain suspects and make arrests. If a police officer has injured you, the primary question will be whether the police officer’s conduct was reasonable under the circumstances. Courts will consider several factors when determining whether the officer’s force was excessive, including:
- The severity of the suspect’s alleged crime
- Whether the suspect was actively resisting arrest
- Whether the suspect was attempting to escape
- Whether the suspect poses an immediate threat to the safety of the public or the officers
Offers only have the authority to use reasonable and necessary force to secure detention or arrest. Anything above reasonable force is considered excessive force.
When Can Police Use Deadly Force?
The main issue in most deadly force cases is whether the use of deadly force was objectively reasonable under the circumstances. There are three instances in which police can use deadly force:
- The officer is threatened with a deadly weapon
- The officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a threat of serious physical harm or death to the officer or to another person
- The officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect committed a crime involving a threat of an actual serious physical harm or death to another person
When these circumstances are not met and a police officer uses deadly force against a citizen, it will be considered excessive and unreasonable, and the victim’s family may be entitled to compensation through a civil rights lawsuit.
What Should You Do When Confronted by a Police Officer?
It can be difficult to stay calm, but it is important to do. Try to be courteous to the police officer. Do not curse at the officer or be rude. When necessary, turn down your music or take off your headset. Give the officer your name and address. Remember, you do not have to answer any other questions. It is beneficial to wait until you are represented by an attorney before saying anything further.
What Should You Do in the Event of Police Misconduct or Brutality?
If you have been injured, take note of the time, date, and location of the incident. Do not ask for the badge, name, or car number of the police officers involved, but try to note this information. You should also remember a physical description of the police officers.
What are My Options If I Have Been Injured in a Police Brutality Incident?
If you have been injured by a police officer, it is important that you try to get the names of witnesses. Take photos of all of the injuries you sustained. It is wise to go to your doctor and undergo a comprehensive medical evaluation. As soon as you can, it is wise to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will begin investigating your case and gathering information. You only have a limited amount of time to file a claim against the police officer who injured you, so talk to an attorney shortly after the incident occurred.
How Can an Attorney Help?
It may seem like you are fighting impossible odds to go up against the Philadelphia police force as the victim of police brutality. If your civil rights have been violated, you are going up against a police department that has a history of circling the wagons to police officers, even those who were in the wrong. For example, officers at the scene of the accident may refuse to hold their fellow officers accountable.
At Abramson & Denenberg, P.C., we are uniquely equipped to help you obtain the justice and financial damages you deserve. We have a proven track record of recovering significant compensation for victims of police brutality. Our law firm has support staff and attorneys prepared to take your case and represent you immediately. Our attorneys go the extra mile for our clients to obtain the best outcome possible. When necessary, we also have the financial resources to take your case to trial.
Can I Afford an Attorney?
You may be concerned about how you will pay for an attorney. At Abramson & Denenberg, P.C., we believe that everyone deserves an equal shot at getting a just outcome, no matter their financial status, national origin, creed, or race. We can discuss payment options with you that are affordable.
What if I Was Abused or Injured by a Corrections Officer While in Jail?
Yes, you still have human rights as a person who is incarcerated. Unfortunately, abuse and injuries caused by corrections officers happen far too frequently. Corrections officers cannot use unreasonable force when going about their daily lives. When a person is detained as they await trial or after they are convicted, they should not have to worry about being abused, neglected, or mistreated. If you or your loved one has been mistreated or abused in a Pennsylvania jail or prison, reach out to an attorney to learn more about your rights.
Reach Out to a Philadelphia Police Brutality Attorney Today
Have you or your loved one been injured by a police officer in a police brutality incident? If so, it is crucial that you reach out to a civil rights attorney as soon as possible. Contact the experienced police brutality attorneys at Abramson & Denenberg, P.C. today to schedule your initial consultation.