Police have a duty to not exceed a certain level of force when making an arrest. Learn more about your rights by connecting with our skilled criminal defense lawyers.
Interactions with police can be intimidating, especially if such an interaction results in an arrest. During an arrest, as well as during any other interaction with police, it is very important that you have a firm understanding of your rights, as well as when your rights are being violated. Consider the following regarding police brutality and police excessive use of force and call an attorney immediately if you have been arrested and believe your rights have been breached.
Police Brutality and Excessive Force
When the words “police brutality” are used, they are typically referring to a situation in which police have used excessive force. Excessive force is difficult to define, and the amount of force that may be considered “excessive” varies depending on the situation. However, in general, the amount of force that a police officer or police officers use must be proportional to the threat and can only increase if the threat increases. For example, physical force should not be used past the point of restraining a suspect, and the use of a weapon is inappropriate when the suspect has no threat of causing harm to the police officer (i.e. is unarmed themselves, is not violent, etc.). If a police officer uses force when it is not necessary or uses force that is excessive in response to the threat posed by the suspect with whom they are dealing, then they may be in violation of the law and guilty of police brutality.
In addition to the right to be protected from excessive use of force, it is important to note that suspects also have a right to protections under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Civil Rights Act. Under the former, suspects are protected from unreasonable search and seizure; under the latter, police cannot target anyone or brutalize anyone based on that person’s race (or a number of other discriminatory factors).
Remedies if You Believe that You are a Victim of Police Brutality
Being a victim of police brutality can be terrifying and may even lead to severe physical injuries that are disabling long-term, or fatal in the most tragic of cases. It can be very difficult to hold a police officer responsible for police brutality; officers are rarely prosecuted for such misconduct. In some cases, a civil case, rather than a criminal one, can be brought against the police officer or the police department.
Call a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you are a victim of police misconduct or police brutality, you probably have dozens of questions, including how the police brutality may affect the criminal charges against you and the outcome of your case. At the law office of Granger and Mueller PC, our experienced criminal defense lawyers can help. To learn more about your rights and your options, reach out to our legal team today. We encourage you to call us as soon as possible after being arrested.