Law enforcement officers are supposed to protect every citizen and ensure they are safe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case because some law enforcement officers target law-abiding citizens for illegal and unfair reasons. Police brutality refers to excessive, unjustified, and illegal force by officers against civilians. It can include torture, beatings, sexual abuse, and other forms of misconduct like denial of medical care, harassment, and racial discrimination. This excessive use of force by law enforcement officers can involve violations of constitutional rights and federal and state law. If an officer has abused their power, you can take legal measures to hold him or her accountable for using excessive force or violating your rights through the assistance of police brutality lawyers.
How to file a lawsuit against an officer
The procedure for filing a police misconduct lawsuit is different from other lawsuits. This is why you should take the right steps to prevent your claim from being dismissed. First and foremost, you need to file a Notice of Claim with the NYC Comptroller’s Office. The deadline for filing this Notice of Claim is only 90 days from the date of the incident and if you miss the deadline, you may not be allowed to pursue any compensation. After filing the Notice of Claim, you can file a complaint in court. A complaint highlights the specific violations on which your case is based.
Common types of misconduct and brutality
Examples of law enforcement misconduct and abuse can include physical assault, discriminatory harassment, intimidation, and sexual misconduct. It can also include false arrests, verbal attacks, and racial profiling. These can be damaging and need to be addressed immediately. Although the situation can be stressful it’s best to keep track of all the details. This will help build a strong case when you reach out to a legal professional.
Compensation available in police misconduct lawsuits
You may be eligible for damages like lost wages, pain and suffering, medical costs, and loss of future earnings. In addition, you may be entitled to punitive damages, attorney fees, and non-economic losses like mental anguish and humiliation. These damages can cause a lifetime of pain for a person. It’s not okay to be treated indifferently no matter the situation. Understanding these details can help you in the long run when you are building your case.
What to do after experiencing abuse and harassment from officers
It is important to document everything that happened to you because you may forget the details or misremember the incident if you wait to document it later. Especially in the heat of the moment. If you can record the conversation safely, it is advised to do so. That way there is physical evidence from the scene that you can present to an attorney. Physical evidence is the best way to build a case that works in your favor.
Talk to an attorney
You should contact a civil rights attorney who has experience in handling civil rights cases. The attorney can help you know whether you have a case and the potential compensation amount you may receive. They understand how the system works and will make sure that it works in your favor. They want to help you out of this stressful situation. A competent lawyer will do everything in their power to bring your justice. As long as you have a solid claim for them to work with, they will assist you.
Prepare a Police Misconduct Report
You should prepare a formal complaint, but you should not send it immediately. If you send the complaint before filing any formal lawsuit, you may reveal important information that could jeopardize your case and chances of getting compensation. It’s best to let a legal professional handle that information for you. Anything you say without a lawyer present can be used against you. Lay low until you have an attorney present to that work for you.
Follow legal advice from your attorney
Since these types of cases are tricky, you should follow your attorney’s advice to avoid unintentionally hurting your case. That means it’s best to keep quiet about the case until it is already resolved. You don’t want to go somewhere and spew unnecessary information that could hurt you. You need to let your attorney do all the talking. They know what to say that won’t hurt you or them.
If you have experienced any form of misconduct from law enforcement officers, you do not have to handle it alone. You can protect your rights by hiring an attorney who can build a strong and compelling case for you, and ensure you get the justice you deserve. They will fight for you every step of the way. They will bring your case to court and make sure you are covered.