Civil Rights Violations and Police Misconduct

Here are some examples of civil rights violations and instances of police misconduct:

False Arrest

A false arrest, also known as wrongful arrest or false imprisonment, occurs when someone unlawfully holds you against your will or takes you into custody. Police officers are not allowed to arrest individuals without reasonable and probable cause to believe that they have committed a criminal offense. To charge a police officer with false arrest, it must be proven that they acted without authority or beyond the scope of their powers. While proving a false arrest can be challenging, it is possible to seek punitive damages if successful.

False Imprisonment

False imprisonment refers to the illegal restraint of an individual that restricts their freedom of movement. All states have laws against false imprisonment as a means of safeguarding against unlawful confinement. To establish a false imprisonment claim in a civil lawsuit, two essential elements must be proven:

  • Detention or restraint against a person’s will
  • Unlawfulness of the detention or restraint

False imprisonment can take various forms, including the use or threat of authority to confine someone against their will. Physical force is often involved, but it is not always necessary.

Excessive/Unreasonable Force

Police officers receive formal training to handle high-tension situations where violence may be prevalent. They are legally allowed to use reasonable physical force to apprehend and subdue suspects. However, when police officers employ violence to punish, intimidate, coerce confessions, or intentionally inflict pain, they may be guilty of using excessive force. The intentional use of excessive force by a police officer is not only completely unacceptable but also illegal.

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Police Deadly Force

The use of deadly force by law enforcement officers is typically permitted when they believe that the person or people in question pose an immediate danger to those around them. Deadly force is one of the most severe actions a police officer can take and is subject to strict scrutiny and regulation. Standards governing the use of deadly force are established by the Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court. An officer must have a reasonable belief that shooting to kill is necessary to defend themselves or others from imminent death.

Police Dog Attacks

As part of their efforts to apprehend suspects, police officers may use police dogs. These canines are trained to follow commands, track suspects, and corner them. While police dogs are not trained to maul or kill people, they may be trained to bite in a manner that subdues a suspect. However, K-9 unit dogs, often large breeds, can cause significant injuries during an attack. Their bites can result in severe cuts, scars, and permanent damage. Our attorneys carefully assess the circumstances surrounding a police dog attack to determine whether the officer’s use of a dog was appropriate or led to unnecessary harm.

Jail Abuse & Neglect

Jail abuse occurs when a member of the jail staff harms an inmate through actions, while jail neglect involves harm caused by their inaction. In other words, abuse requires an action, whereas neglect occurs due to a lack of action. Prison officials have a responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of inmates and individuals held in custody. Failure to protect or respect their rights can lead to legal consequences. If an inmate sustains injuries or dies due to abusive treatment or negligence, the city or county may be held financially liable.

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Contact Our Attorneys for Assistance

If you believe that your civil rights have been violated, we encourage you to reach out to the law offices of Garrity Traina for a free consultation. Our experienced attorneys can evaluate your case and help you pursue the justice you deserve.

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