Civil Rights and Police Misconduct
Police officers, correctional officers and other law enforcement officials have a responsibility to protect society and enforce the law. The vast majority of law enforcement officials are devoted and ethical, and they uphold their duties without incident. As a society, we understand that they work an honorable and dangerous job. In this day and age, however, we also know that a small number of officers exceed their authority and violate the public’s trust. These “bad apples” give law-abiding police officers a bad name and their actions often lead to miscarriages of justice. At Keches Law Group, our attorneys have experience helping innocent victims of police brutality and other police misconduct.
Over the last few years, we have seen blatant examples of police brutality all over the news, ranging from shootings of innocent victims to deliberate indifference to the needs of those in police custody. Civil rights violations, however, can be wide ranging and also include acts such as false arrests, unconstitutional searches and seizures, sexual assaults, coercion or blackmail, and racial profiling. In addition to these intentional acts, law enforcement officials can also be held liable for negligence in performing their duties. All of these cases vary significantly and can be extremely challenging. As such, they must be evaluated by an attorney on a case-by-case basis.
The majority of excessive force and police brutality cases involve the violation of a person’s constitutional rights by a law enforcement official. These cases often involve excessive force during an arrest of other law enforcement pursuit, and the results of this type of abuse can include from physical injuries, mental anguish, and even death. Apart from the injuries to the victim, these violations subvert the public’s trust in our criminal justice system and the authority given to law enforcement officials.
In order to pursue a claim for violation of a person’s constitutional rights, the claim must be brought as a civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, often referred to as “Section 1983 claims.” That statute permits civil actions against law enforcement officials who act “under color of law” in order to deprive another person of their constitutional rights, or other rights protected under federal law. Claims that fall under the umbrella of Section 1983 are wide-ranging and go far beyond excessive force cases. For example, refusing to provide proper medical care to a person in police custody is actionable under Section 1983. Similarly, if a person is maliciously prosecuted for a crime, the law enforcement officers responsible may be held liable for the harm caused by their actions under Section 1983.
At Keches Law Group, P.C., we understand the wide-ranging effects that can be caused by police misconduct. We are here to listen, to guide you through this difficult time, and to aggressively advocate for your rights.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of police misconduct, contact us for a free confidential consultation.