How to Win a Case of Police Brutality in Washington DC
What is Police Brutality?
The generally accepted view is that police exist for a reason: They’re supposed to protect citizens from criminals and crime – but sometimes they abuse their power, and you end up needing a police brutality lawyer in Washington, D.C. Sadly, police officers don’t always carry out their duties responsibly, and it’s ordinary citizens who suffer.
Police brutality has become increasingly noteworthy and visible, and if you suspect you’ve been a victim of excessive force, you shouldn’t hesitate to get in touch with a qualified police brutality lawyer. When you get together with an experienced legal team to pursue damages, it’s important to know all you can about police brutality so you understand the challenges you may be up against. Read on to learn more about what counts as police brutality, and what a lawyer from Cohen & Cohen can do for you.
Police Brutality is a Type of Police Misconduct
Police brutality falls under a larger umbrella of police misconduct. Police misconduct includes all sorts of misbehavior and improper action on the part of law enforcement officers and officials. Aside from police brutality, more notable examples of police misconduct include corruption, witness tampering, coercion during questioning, and even violence carried out off-duty.
Brutality is a high-profile type of police misconduct, and it is best defined as an excessive or unlawful use of force. Police brutality can also include human rights violations carried out by police. This includes beatings and racial abuse – two examples that are unfortunately more and more common with each passing year.
Police officers are expected to use violence only in proportion to their current situation, and they should never go straight to a lethal option unless there is a lethal threat to themselves or someone in their vicinity. Aside from excessive force directed at an individual, police brutality may also apply to indiscriminate use of crowd control during protests.
In many cases, police officers are protected by their own institutions, and if they step out of line they are rarely punished. However, with the help of a police brutality lawyer in Washington, D.C. you can keep police accountable for their actions, and even prevent brutality in the future.
Keeping Police Brutality in Check
You may have seen community action in motion already. Protests and lobbying are effective methods of keeping the police within the law and departmental guidelines – and reforming any existing laws and guidelines that may encourage more brutality in the future. However, while protests and public action can make sweeping changes, it also takes a long time – and if you’re not a high-profile case, you may not benefit until it’s too late.
Criminal charges are rarely leveled at police officers, and to any cynics it might seem like they’re only given criminal charges if their brutality is high profile and newsworthy. A criminal case may seem unlikely, but fortunately in the meantime you can refer to a civil suit instead.
A civil lawsuit against any officers who committed brutality is an important step towards righting a societal wrong. A lawsuit can earn you financial compensation for your damages, and it can prevent other instances of police brutality. While it’s not as flashy as getting a bad cop thrown in jail, it can give you peace of mind and renewed trust in a legal system that you may feel has forgotten you. As an added bonus, the financial damages awarded to you can be used to help you get your life back on track after whatever trauma you experienced at the hands of law enforcement.
Reach out to Cohen & Cohen today, and see how a police brutality lawyer in Washington, D.C. can help you get the justice you deserve.
Police brutality exists in many cities, states and countries and can even be prosecuted. But sometimes that is not possible or enough. If you or someone has been brutalized by the police, you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer who has experience dealing in police brutality in order to file a lawsuit. If you have experienced violence by authorities, you may want to contact a legal professional to help with your case because police brutality is a crime that has historically been hard to bring to trial because, even though it is illegal, it can often be performed under the “color of the law.” Technically, there is no legal definition of police brutality. The term generally includes the excessive use of force by police, whether or not that force rises to the level of criminal assault.
If you are looking to win a case of police brutality, you’ve come to the right spot because it will be key to pick a lawyer who is familiar with the complexities of police misconduct. Hiring a personal injury lawyer can help navigate the incendiary landscape surrounding police brutality, so that you or a loved one be compensated for any emotional, physical or mental damages incurred at the hands of the police.
According to a report, police killed,165 people in 2018. Additionally, there were only 22 days in 2018 where police did not kill someone.
Incidents of police brutality are not new to making headlines. On March 3, 1991, Rodney King was a victim of police brutality, when he was violently beaten by four LAPD officers while being arrested for fleeing and evading on California State Route 210. A civilian named George Holliday filmed the incident and sent the footage to local news station KTLA. The footage clearly showed that King was being beaten repeatedly. The incident was covered by news outlets around the world.
Eventually, the four officers were tried on charges of use of excessive force. To the world, the trial seemed clear cut, but three officers were acquitted and the jury failed to reach a verdict on one charge for the fourth. The verdict sparked the 1992 Los Angeles riots, which lasted six days, and where 63 people were killed.
Despite the shocking acquittals, in 1993, the federal government prosecuted the men in a separate civil rights case and on April 16, 1993, two of the officers were found guilty and sentenced to prison. The other two police officers were acquitted of the charges. In a separate lawsuit, King, who hired an attorney, was awarded $3.8 million in damages by the city of Los Angeles.
Unfortunately, incidents of police brutality still occur. In 2014, police shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The shooting sparked mass outrage in Ferguson and once again spotlight was placed on the rampant police brutality in the United States.
If you or a loved one is a victim of police misconduct, you have the right to hire an attorney in order to sue to recover damages. You may be due monetary compensation if you were involved in a police, shooting, racial profiling, a police beating, excessive force by the police, sexual assault by the police.
Whether you or a loved one is a victim and has been brutalized by the police, Cohen & Cohen, can help you get the justice you deserve. If you want to talk about how to win your case of police brutality, you can reach us at a 24/7 live phone answering. So, if you need a DC lawyer who handles police brutality cases, contact Cohen & Cohen, P.C our DC Law Firm today.
Police Brutality Lawyer in Washington, D.C.
If you’ve experienced police brutality in any way, you should get in touch with a police brutality lawyer in Washington, D.C. Police brutality has the potential to shatter public trust in their police, and can lead to lifelong trauma and fear of law enforcement. Don’t live like a victim – contact Cohen & Cohen today to get your life back on the right track.
The police have a responsibility to the public: They are supposed to protect us from crime, and catch criminals. This responsibility means a degree of authority over the public, but responsible police officers need to walk a fine line to avoid exploiting or overreaching their authority. When the police fail to uphold their end of the bargain by brutalizing the very people they are meant to protect, they should be held accountable.
We hear about police brutality too often. Despite the public outcry over high-profile cases, it still happens every day. Before filing a police brutality lawsuit, it pays to learn all you can about what counts as police brutality, and how rules regarding excessive force can define whether or not a police officer committed police brutality in the first place.
Like it or not, the police are allowed by law to use physical – and lethal – force. Police officers are oftentimes required to use force to neutralize a threat, but the amount of force they use should always be scrutinized. Police officers are expected to use reasonable force, not excessive force. This is where context and circumstance comes into play.
For example, if a suspect pulled a gun on a police officer with the intent of shooting, and the police officer shot the suspect in response, it could be argued that the police officer used reasonable force. However, if a suspect was holding a baseball bat and wasn’t brandishing it as a weapon, and the police officer still shot the suspect, it could be argued that the police officer used excessive force.
Being shot by a police officer may seem like an excessive response, but when determining excessive force the circumstances are actually more important than the nature of the injuries. The circumstances lay the ground rules for an engagement between a police officer and the other party, and how the police officer responds to a perceived threat should be examined with all the facts in mind.
Excessive force is one of the most common forms of police brutality, but it doesn’t always involve guns and nightsticks. Excessive force also applies to unreasonable strip searches and use of restraints. A police brutality lawyer in DC can help you investigate the use of force in your case, and a qualified attorney can uncover any misconduct that led to your injuries.
Filing a Lawsuit for Excessive Force
Police act as agents of the government, and it’s very possible for you to file a lawsuit against the government if you believe you’ve been wronged by the police. If you experienced excessive force, your civil rights were violated and you can file a civil suit for damages that may have occurred. Reach out to a DC police brutality lawyer from Cohen & Cohen to learn more.