Police brutality is the unnecessary and excessive use of physical force by police. It’s an excessive and unjust use of physical force or police misconduct. It’s a serious civil rights violation and is an excessive use of police force. It generally refers to a scenario in which police use excessive or undue force against an individual. However, it can also be used when there is excessive force employed against a civilian.
The first such case that we are aware of involved the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. There were peaceful protesters who were demonstrating against the police officer’s shooting of an unarmed teen just prior to the grand jury decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson. Michael Brown was killed as a result of police officers illegally killing him during a scuffle.
This is not an isolated incident. There have been numerous other cases over the past several years involving excessive police brutality. In one such case, in McKinney, Texas, an eighteen-year-old was beaten to death by four police officers after they saw him participating in a melee with another individual. Video footage showed the four officers striking the boy more than a dozen times with their batons false arrest attorney new york city.
What has happened in these examples is that those who have shown excessive police brutality are being punished for engaging in a lawful act. Whether the officers intended to use deadly force or not is irrelevant. Whether they acted unjustly is also irrelevant. It’s important to understand why police brutality is considered excessive in the first place, and that is to do with the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable seizure, arrest, or confinement, shall never be restrained, except in cases of felony.” That’s what the Fifth Amendment stands for, and it says that the power to detain people without “bail” or “judicial proceedings” should never be abused. So, when excessive police brutality occurs, the question becomes, “justifying that excessive use of force?” A court will make a ruling on that basis alone, and it’s not up to a jury to look at that decision. A criminal defense attorney, however, can help a client determine whether or not their excessive police force used was legally justified.
There are a few ways to determine the nature of excessive police brutality. One is to look at the way that the police department decides whether or not to charge an officer with excessive police brutality. If an officer is involved in an incident that looks something like a case of police brutality, but the charges are dropped, the criminal defense lawyer may challenge that decision on the basis that police brutality involves an unlawful act. If the client can prove that the charges were discontinued based on insufficient evidence, the court may review the action and reinstate the charges.
The second way a criminal defense attorney can use police brutality to argue against excessive use of force is to show that the officers did not have reasonable suspicion to arrest their client. If an arresting officer does not have probable cause to suspect a defendant of wrongdoing before putting that person in a cruiser, then the suspect has not been arrested for police brutality. The same goes if the police stop a driver on a highway for suspicion of drunk driving, and the driver moves past a police car with lights flashing, a siren beeping, and a dog barking furiously at the driver, then the individual has not been given a reasonable suspicion that he is committing a crime. Police brutality, by this definition, would only apply if the police suspected that the driver committed a crime at any point during the stop. It doesn’t matter if the officer had reasonable suspicion to seize the driver, if the stop was illegal and unjustifiable.
The third way to establish the defense of excessive police brutality is to show that the victim suffered some type of injury as the result of the incident. This can include a broken bone, a traumatic brain injury, or other types of physical damage. The court may allow the recovery of medical expenses and lost wages to support the victim. The court may also award punitive damages to make the defendant pay for their wrongdoing. These damages cannot be reduced unless proven guilty beyond all doubt, which is why it is so important to consult with a highly experienced criminal defense lawyer when you have questions regarding police brutality.