Columbus Police Misconduct Lawyers
Police officers have the responsibility and the duty to treat members of the public with respect and regard to their civil rights at all times. However, this is not always the case in reality. Officers sometimes handle individuals with excessive physical force and others fail to intervene to protect the victims. These violations are known as police misconduct.
Defining, proving, and recovering compensation for damages related to police misconduct can be difficult. Police officers have immunity to lawsuits related to their actions while performing their jobs correctly, which means that an officer has a wide berth of acceptable actions to take as long as he or she is acting within the scope of his or her work. Police misconduct is defined as behavior that goes beyond this boundary and causes a victim to suffer substantial harm.
Examples of Police Misconduct
Police misconduct can take many forms. Often, it is the use of excessive or unnecessary force to subdue an individual under arrest, which can include:
- Violent beatings;
- Unnecessary tasing;
- Using a chokehold to keep an individual under control;
- Shooting a person who did not pose a threat warranting such a shooting; and
- Any other physical force deemed excessive for the situation through the balancing test, an analysis of the situation that looks at the severity of the alleged offense, the threat the arrested individual posed to the officer or others, and the resistance offered by the individual to determine if another officer would reasonably have taken the same actions.
Other types of police misconduct include:
- False arrest. This is the act of holding an individual in custody without probable cause to believe he or she committed a crime or a valid arrest warrant;
- Malicious prosecution. This is the deprivation of an individual’s 14th amendment rights, which include the right to due process; and
- Failure to intervene. When one officer physically abuses a civilian and another officer witnesses it, but fails to protect the victim, that officer can also be liable for the victim’s damages.
Seeking Justice and Compensation for your Damages Related to Police Misconduct
If you suffered an injury and other damages related to your treatment by police, such as psychological trauma, you have the right to seek compensation for these damages through a police misconduct lawsuit. In order to recover compensation, you must prove that the officer’s treatment was not appropriate for the situation you faced. This can be done by providing evidence to support your claim, such as:
- Photographs and videos of the incident;
- Eyewitness testimonies of the officer’s actions; and
- Testimony from your doctor discussing your injury, its cause, and its required treatment.
Work with an Experienced Columbus Police Misconduct Lawyer
You have the right to be treated fairly and humanely by law enforcement. If you suffered mistreatment at the hands of an officer, contact our team of experienced police misconduct lawyers at Marshall & Forman, LLC to schedule your initial consultation in our office. We can examine your case and work with you to develop an effective legal strategy for your case.