By law, police officers are allowed to use a reasonable amount of force to protect themselves or citizens from harm. They can also use reasonable force when they are trying to arrest someone. Unfortunately, some police officers abuse their power by using excessive rather than reasonable force, which can result in a member of the public being hurt.
This excessive force is referred to as police brutality. Identifying excessive force usually comes down to the following:
- What another police officer might have done in a similar situation
- Whether the person harmed by the excessive force had a weapon
- Whether the police officer believed that excessive force was necessary to protect themselves or the public
These circumstances are weighed heavily in making the determination of police brutality. For example, if someone dies as a result of a police officer’s actions, but the police officer genuinely believed there was a physical threat to their safety or the safety of the public, this may not be police brutality. But if the person hadn’t posed a physical threat to others and the police officer’s actions caused unnecessary harm, this could be a case of police brutality.
Examples of Police Brutality
Police brutality doesn’t always involve a weapon. Depending on the circumstances, the following could be considered police brutality:
- Violence or a physical attack by the police officer on a civilian
- A strip search
- Botched raids
If an officer used excessive force on you, humiliated you, or otherwise acted inappropriately, and you suffered an injury because of it, you might have a police brutality case.
Why You Need an Experienced Attorney
Although police brutality and other types of police misconduct are against the law, you can expect that any police department against which you bring a case is going to fight it. An experienced police brutality attorney can advise you of your rights and conduct a full investigation to prove that you were a victim of excessive force. Call attorney Ben Crittenden at 907-885-6032 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.