A police officers’ primary purpose is to serve and protect our communities. To do so, they are often endowed with a broad range of rights and powers in order to carry out their duties. Sadly, such powers get taken advantage of sometimes, thus leading to severe police misconduct. When this happens, it is important for the victim or their loved ones to immediately contact an attorney to learn their rights and how to go forth in this unfortunate event.
Know Your Rights
The most common statute regarding police misconduct is known as Section 1983. This statute declares it unlawful for anyone acting under the authority of the state to deprive another of their rights under federal or Constitution law. The most common claims brought against police under this statute include false arrest, use of excessive or unreasonable force, and malicious prosecution. These types of cases can also be brought in State Courts (New York State Supreme Court).
Types of Police Misconduct in New York City
False arrest cases are often accompanied with the claim that their Fourth Amendment, or unreasonable search and seizures by government, has been violated. This can be complicated and difficult case, as very strong evidence is required to prevail. However, our experienced and distinguished attorneys can certainly help guide you through this tough time.
False Imprisonment usually results following a false arrest. The time you spend incarcerated or with your freedom deprived is violative of your constitutional rights – and it is compensable!
Excessive force from police authorities has received the most publicity lately and is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. Such outrageous events can often lead to serious physical injury or death. The surrounding facts and circumstances often determine whether an officers actions were reasonable or not.
Claims of malicious prosecution are often accompanied by the deprivation of the Fourteenth Amendment, or the restriction of basic rights to citizens and other persons. Similar to false arrest, this can be a difficult case and requires strong evidence from the plaintiff in order to prevail.
Failure to Intervene
As discussed, a police officer’s primary duty is to protect individuals in the community. With that said, if an officer witnesses another officer violate an individuals federal or constitutional rights, they may be liable to the victim for failing to intervene.
What Can You Do?
The evidence supporting your claim is the most important aspect of your case:
Take photographs of any injuries or damages caused by the police. Make sure these photographs are clear and take photos from various angles, as well, in order to get a fuller picture of the scene,
Safeguard any clothing or other objects that were a part of the incident, especially those that have been torn or have blood stains on them from the incident,
Try to get the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the incident,
As soon as possible, write down your account of the accident with as many details as you can recall. Be as specific as possible.
Call Michael Manoussos & Co PLLC immediately.
In any situation involving police misconduct, always be cooperative. Do not make a bad situation worse (or give the authorities something to have on you).