While most police officers are diligent about discharging their duties with integrity, others break the laws they are entrusted to uphold and violate the rights of the citizens and communities they are paid to safeguard.
Thousands of excessive force cases and other kinds of police misconduct are reported each year in the United States, and sadly, the greater Los Angeles area has experienced many tragic incidents. In fact, according to The Los Angeles Times, more than 900 people have been killed by law enforcement in LA County since 2001.
If you or someone you love was a victim of police brutality, you may be entitled to damages for related injuries and losses. At JCS Law Firm, our knowledgeable and highly skilled civil rights attorney can help you understand your legal protections and explore options for compensation. We are fierce advocates for our clients, fighting to help those subjected to excessive force and other improper police actions to recover the dignity and damages they deserve.
Understanding and Identifying Police Brutality or Excessive Force
Sometimes, police need to use force to protect the public. However, the force used should be the least amount necessary to complete the task at hand—whether it's giving someone a warning or ticket, making an arrest, or protecting others from harm during the commission of a crime.
When officers use more force than is necessary, they can be accused of police brutality. They could be held liable for the victim's resulting injuries and damages. Examples of law enforcement misconduct include:
- Use of violence against an individual who poses no threat to the officer or the public
- Unnecessary use of batons, tasers, stun guns, chemical irritants, or firearms
- Unnecessary strip searches
- Use of illegal chokeholds and other prohibited maneuvers
- Harming a physically restrained individual
- Use of unnecessary or excessive restraints
- Sexual assault
- Wrongful arrest
- Unlawful searches and seizures
There are many other types of misconduct, in addition to those in this list. An attorney can help you determine whether what you have experienced provides grounds to pursue a legal claim.
Law Enforcement Misconduct Can Have Catastrophic Consequences
Police brutality and misconduct can have wide-ranging and life-changing consequences for victims. In any police interaction, there is the potential for serious physical injuries such as broken bones, internal bleeding, spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and even death. Being involved in a violent encounter with law enforcement can cause severe emotional distress and damage to your reputation. After such a damaging event, it can be difficult to know who to trust and where to turn for help. Fortunately, you've come to the right firm.
What to Do When You Believe Police Have Violated Your Rights
Have you been injured during an encounter with the police? You need to get immediate medical attention and have the injuries carefully documented in your medical records. Medical records can be valuable evidence in your police brutality case. Other important evidence to gather and preserve includes photos or videos of the incident such as surveillance footage or policy body camera footage along with witness statements from people who saw what happened. Witnesses can support your case in essential ways. Evidence collection can be time-consuming and difficult, but an attorney can help you obtain what you need.
Consulting a seasoned civil rights attorney is the most important thing you can do if you or a loved one were victimized by law enforcement. These cases involve complicated legal issues, and getting the justice and financial award you deserve won't happen without dedicated, experienced representation. Our firm is a trusted name in civil rights litigation.
Depending on the facts and evidence in your case, we may be able to help you collect compensation for related medical expenses, lost wages, loss of income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more. Ready to find out how we can assist you?