A police officers’ duty is to protect people and property by responding to calls, enforcing laws, making arrests, issuing citations and occasionally testifying in court cases. Unfortunately, there are cases when police officers abuse their power and violate the rights of citizens. A victim of police misconduct may go through federal and state laws to make a claim. Civil rights laws allow victims to seek compensatory and punitive damages as incentives.
However, it can be difficult to identify what is considered police misconduct and what you can do to seek compensation. There is a verity of actions that could be considered police misconduct.
What is Considered Police Misconduct?
- Physical Assault: if a police officer uses excessive force, the underlying Constitutional right is issued depending on the custodial status of the victim. In other words, it primarily depends on the situation—if the situation required the police officer to use additional force to detain the victim or if it was not required and the officer used excessive force anyways.
- Sexual Misconduct: this is when a police officer engages in nonconsensual sexual contact with persons in their custody. Citizens have the right to bodily integrity and a police officer can be held liable for breaching this right.
- Deliberate indifference to a serious medical condition or a substantial risk of harm: Section 242 prohibits a law enforcement officer from acting with deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of harm to persons in custody. An officer cannot ignore a serious medical condition of or risk of serious harm.
- Failure to intervene: an officer who purposefully allows a fellow officer to violate a victim’s constitutional rights may be prosecuted for failure to intervene or to stop the constitutional violation. To prosecute such an officer, the victim must show that the defendant officer was aware of the violations being made and had the opportunity to intervene but failed to do so.
Contact a Police Misconduct Attorney
If a police officer has violated your rights by using excessive physical assault or any of the other types of police misconduct, you have the right to seek compensation. We will fight diligently to have the evidence needed to defend your case. We can also represent you in a case against the infringing officer or police department. We have the knowledge and experience needed to successfully handle any police misconduct case, as well as a criminal case. Contact us today (954) 543-1788!