A police officer’s job comes with the responsibility to protect and serve communities and the people in them. People depend on police to enforce laws and resolve conflicts as best they can. In order to do this, law enforcement officials are given a wider range of power than most citizens. What happens, though, if this power is taken advantage of? Cases of police brutality have often led to false arrest, injury, and even wrongful death.
Recently, the New York Post reported a tragic shooting of a mentally challenged woman in her Bronx apartment. Police confronted the woman, who was suffering from schizophrenia, and described her as “acting in an irrational manner”. After the woman wielded a baseball bat, an officer fired two fatal shots into the woman’s torso. The NYPD is currently investigating if the officer’s actions constitute police brutality. Public Advocate Letitia James and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. called the shooting “unacceptable”. Officials allege that because the woman was a known schizophrenic, officers should have been prepared to calm the situation verbally or use non-lethal force, if absolutely necessary. Critics claim that the use of a lethal weapon in this case was excessive force.
What is Considered Police Brutality?
Law enforcement officers must maintain an individual’s personal civil rights while using minimal verbal and physical force to confront issues. Police brutality can occur if an officer fails to do this. Claims of police brutality typically focus on:
- Excessive force
- False arrest
- Wrongful shooting
- Mental and emotional abuse
Has Police Brutality Affected you?
Despite increases in civil rights awareness, police brutality cases continue to occur throughout the Unites States, including the Bronx, Brooklyn, and the surrounding areas. These cases stem from claims of intentional misconduct or from instances of simple negligence. While victims may report claims to their police department’s civil complaints bureau, it is impossible to receive compensation for police misconduct without making a formal legal claim in our Courts. Police brutality lawsuits can result in both compensation for a victim as well as an important check on our system of policing.
What you can do:
If you feel you may be a victim of police brutality, it is important that you call an experienced police misconduct attorney immediately to discuss the civil rights claim. Finally, your attorney will investigate any inflicted damages from there. To receive a free evaluation of your case and discuss further legal options, contact us today!
Collin Porcaro is a Legal Contributor for www.lawyers24-7.com.