Police brutality has been wreaking havoc in different parts of the country, causing fear in the streets and leading people’s trust away from authorities. It’s a devastating situation that has been the root of heated debates, but it’s a sensitive conversation that people need to hold—and that includes the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the United States.
Most law enforcement officers strive to protect the citizens and perform their duties to the community, but bad batches fall through the cracks and fail to stay compliant with the law. These acts of wrongdoings go against the federal laws set by the DOJ; that’s why there are police misconduct laws that aim to penalize state, county, and local officers for their unlawful behavior.
What are Examples of Police Misconduct?
Police brutality has been making headlines on the news for years now, but the actions vary in degree from excessive use of force, corruption, physical abuse, coercive interrogations, witness tampering, racial profiling, misusing of seized evidence, filing false reports, false imprisonment, violation of constitutional rights, and more.
Police misconduct gives off a negative impression, one that leaves citizens vulnerable to random acts of harm from authorities they should otherwise trust. With that being said, the Department of Justice enforces the following civil and criminal remedies for different types of policy violations.
A Basic Guide on Legal Remedies for Police Misconduct
The Exclusionary Rule
This rule states that if police have violated a criminal defendant’s constitutional rights, he or she can call for the exclusionary rule, which prevents the police from submitting illegally obtained evidence in criminal court.
If a police officer abuses their power by doing acts of crime that violate the victim’s rights, causes injuries, trauma, and more, the person can file criminal charges against the officer. Misconducts like theft, bribery, fraud, assault, or even murder are all criminal charges that can strip the police officer’s job title and license.
Civil Lawsuits: Section 1983
If a police officer violates an innocent citizen’s constitutional rights, he or she can sue the officer in question as well the department the officer works for to recover the damages caused by the misconduct. While victims are encouraged to seek the compensation they deserve, it’s one of the trickier charges as police officers often get away with it due to the immunity they get from their employers. In this regard, it’s important to work with a lawyer who can fight for your rights and bring justice to a flawed system.
The Bottom Line: Keeping Police Misconducts in Check
If you are a victim of police hate, brutality, and other forms of unlawful behavior, it’s important to protect your rights and get the help you deserve from lawyers you can trust.
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