Police officers are often put in dangerous and life-threatening situations that test their physical and emotional health beyond the limits. Officers have the right to use force when necessary to apprehend a suspect or halt a crime in progress, but when they abuse this power, they violate the constitutional and civil rights of those that they have sworn to protect. Officers that violate these rights become subject to apprehension, conviction, and imprisonment. Victims of police misconduct and brutality have the right to hold these officers of the law liable for damages suffered not only personally, but to those in the community as well.
Pennsylvania civil rights lawyers at Williams Cuker Berezofsky help victims of police misconduct and brutality claim the justice they deserve. Our team of civil litigation lawyers upholds the state and federal laws that protect citizens from violation of their constitutional and civil rights. We work diligently to demand justice and compensation for your injuries and the damages you have suffered at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve you.
It is understandable that police officers can sometimes overreact in a tense and highly stressful situation, but when they purposefully and willfully engage in conduct that is illegal, they are not above legal consequences. Police misconduct can include such actions as planting weapons or drugs on a person or their property to cover up inappropriate actions; embezzlement of money, drugs, or property confiscated in an arrest or search; conducting illegal searches without proper cause; or physically abusing or assaulting those in custody or under arrest.
Police misconduct can also include false arrest, sexual harassment or racial profiling, withholding or destroying evidence that could help prove someone’s innocence, unwarranted strip searches, and denial of medical attention. Police officers can be held liable for murder when excessive force causes the death of an individual. Likewise, they can be charged with assault when violence is used in an act of rage. Police officers can also be charged with extortion if they use their power as a law enforcement officer to obtain money, goods, or services.
Other examples of police misconduct include false confession or coerced confession, false imprisonment, tampering with evidence, sexual abuse, intimidation, corruption, and altering surveillance video. An officer that uses inappropriate or offensive language of a sexual nature can also be held liable for misconduct. Misuse of tasers is considered police brutality and can result in serious injury and even death.
Victims of police brutality and misconduct can suffer long lasting or permanent physical and emotional scarring. Physical injuries can include broken bones, neck or spinal injuries, electrocution from overuse of tasers, allergic reactions and eye injuries from pepper spray, and even death when medical attention is denied. Emotional scars include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and loss of trust in law enforcement officials. Victims can suffer social stigma when they are accused or imprisoned under false pretenses.
For those who are arrested or imprisoned, they may lose their job or be barred from certain employment opportunities when falsely accused of stealing, robbery, or sexual misconduct. When these individuals suffer loss of employment, they face the risk of losing their homes and personal property when they can no longer afford them. Families of these individuals suffer as well when parents or children are wrongly arrested or imprisoned. Even when wrongful convictions or arrests have been overturned, the damage to a person’s reputation can be irreparable.
If you believe you have been a victim of police brutality or misconduct, it is imperative to consult with an experienced civil rights lawyer. The civil rights litigation team at Williams Cuker Berezofsky work tirelessly to help victims of police misconduct and brutality hold the officers responsible for their pain and suffering legally accountable. Compensation for your injuries, as well as damages for your pain and suffering may be available to you.
Victims of police brutality and misconduct can sue individual police officers, their superiors, and even the police department where the offending officer works. Personal injuries and damages may fall under state tort law, civil rights statutes, or under federal Constitutional laws. Officers convicted of police brutality or misconduct face legal consequences that include suspension or dismissal from law enforcement, heavy fines, or imprisonment.
The experienced Pennsylvania civil rights lawyers at Williams Cuker Berezofsky are dedicated to helping victims of police brutality and misconduct claim the justice and compensation they deserve. If you or someone you know has suffered injury or has been fatally injured as a result of police brutality or misconduct, call us at 215-557-0099, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today.