Your Rights as a Victim of Excessive Force or Police Brutality
Jul 31, 2015
While police officers are granted broad powers to carry out their duties, these powers are not unlimited. To the contrary, they are subject to individuals' Constitutional rights as citizens of the United States. As a U.S. citizen, you have the right to be free from abuses of governmental power and police misconduct.
Where police offers act reasonably, they are sometimes protected by legal immunity from suit. However, when the police cross the line between doing what is necessary and violating suspects' Constitutional rights, they can – and should – be held accountable. Police are not immune from accountability when they act unreasonably or abuse their power.
Suing the Police for Violating Your Civil Rights Victims of police misconduct can seek compensation under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act of 1871. Section 1983 specifically makes it illegal for the police to violate citizens' civil rights under the Constitution.
If you are unsure whether your civil rights have been violated, our Wyoming lawyers can help you determine if you may have a claim. However, generally speaking, two of the most common forms of police misconduct that can give rise to claims under Section 1983 are police brutality (excessive force) and false arrest.
What Constitutes Police Brutality? Police brutality refers to the use of excessive force to arrest or subdue a suspect. The police are authorized to use reasonable force to the extent necessary to perform their duties or exercise self defense.
But, when they use more force than is objectively necessary, victims are entitled to seek compensation under Section 1983. Common examples of police brutality include:
â¢ Failure to provide access to medical care â¢ Chokeholds â¢ Physical beatings â¢ Sexual assaults â¢ Suffocation and asphyxia from use of excessive force (hogtie) â¢ Improper use of Tasers â¢ Use of unlawful restraints, such as a hogties or hobbles
While many cases of police brutality involve willful misconduct, it is important to note that malicious intent is not necessary to win a police brutality claim under Section 1983. Every case must be analyzed independently depending on the facts of that incident.
What is a False Arrest? Under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, the police must have "probable cause" to believe that a suspect has committed a crime in order to make an arrest. An arrest made without probable cause is referred to as a "false arrest." Common grounds for false arrest claims include lack of evidence, reliance on sources that are not credible and racial profiling. Contact us to learn more.
Speak With One of Our Wyoming Civil Rights Lawyers About Your Case At The Spence Law Firm, we are passionate about helping individuals in Wyoming enforce their civil rights. If you believe you may be a victim of police brutality or false arrest, we encourage you to get in touch with us right away. Our lawyers have decades of experience helping ordinary people win cases against the government. We can fight to preserve your dignity and obtain the compensation you deserve.
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