Friday, July 12, 2024

How To Sue Police For Violation Of Civil Rights

Don't Miss

How Do I Sue Police For Harassment

Civil rights lawsuit alleges serious violations in police operation that led to Jimmy Atchison’s dea

The Fourth Amendment of theUnited States Constitution protects everyone from unreasonable searches andseizures. That Amendment specifically places limits on police conduct. Policedo occasionally cross that line, however, leading an individual to inquirewhether and how he or she can sue the police for harassment.

The New York City civil rights lawyers at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green respect the professional efforts of New Yorks police authorities to provide an environment that is secure and safe from criminal activity. We also counsel our clients to help them understand their rights on those occasions when police conduct transitions into prohibited harassment.

Car Accidents Involving The Police

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident with a police car while the police officer is in the course of duty, note that liability is assigned based on typical negligence theories. The claim is addressed through the insurance system, but note that there are special rules for government employees who negligently cause an accident. Just like with a normal car accident, you should first ensure that you are safe, then ensure that everyone else is safe. You can then collect all the relevant evidence, including photo and video evidence of the scene, eye witness contact address, and the insurance details of all vehicles involved. Call your lawyer immediately because the claim process is not as straight forward as with other car accidents. You should come to Edson Legal in such cases because there are exceptions to this general rule depending on the circumstances and facts of the case such as pursuits. We will also fight for you if the police say that your conduct contributed to the accident and/or injuries.

Tiny Wrists In Cuffs: How Police Use Force Against Children

Helen Wieffering, Colleen Long And Camille Fassett

Associated Press

In this Sept. 23, 2021, photo Jhaimarion, 10, reacts as he listens to his mother, Krystal Archie talking with an Associated Press reporter in Chicago. Archies three children were present when police, on two occasions, just 11 weeks apart, kicked open her front door and tore through their home searching for drug suspects. Shed never heard of the people they were hunting. Her oldest child, Savannah was 14 at the time her youngest, Jhaimarion, was seven. They were ordered to get down on the floor.

CHICAGO Royal Smart remembers every detail: the feeling of the handcuffs on his wrists. The panic as he was led outside into the cold March darkness, arms raised, to face a wall of police officers pointing their guns.

He was 8 years old.

Neither he nor anyone else at his familys home on Chicagos South Side was arrested on that night two years ago, and police wielding a warrant to look for illegal weapons found none. But even now, in nightmares and in waking moments, he is tormented by visions of officers bursting through houses and tearing rooms apart, ordering people to lie down on the floor.

I cant go to sleep,â he said. I keep thinking about the police coming.

Theyâve been handcuffed, felled by stun guns, taken down and pinned to the ground by officers often far larger than they were. Departments nationwide have few or no guardrails to prevent such incidents.

But the information gleaned is troubling.

You May Like: When Is Police Shift Change

Ask How We Can Fight For Your Civil Rights

We strongly recommend that those who have faced police misconduct pursue legal action against the offending officer and/or police department. Along with earning compensation for the wrongs committed against you or your loved one, your case can make a difference by bringing attention to the bad behavior of individual officers and systemic problems within a department.

Police must be subject to oversight just like any arm of government. Our team is here to do the work of fighting against unjust law enforcement actions. The skilled litigators at McGinn, Montoya, Love & Curry prepare every case as if it will go to trial. We are more than just your attorneyswe are your partners in seeing justice done.

McGinn, Montoya, Love & Curry is ready to take police misconduct and civil rights violations cases anywhere in New Mexico. Call us at 405-4441 to schedule your free consultation.

What Are My Chances Of Success What Damages Might I Be Awarded

Legal observers sue Detroit for police brutality, Civil Rights ...

A lawsuit against the police is not always an easy one to win. Some police departments lack transparency and might make it difficult to gather evidence about past conduct of the officer you are suing. At the same time, it is relatively easy for the police to find and use evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the plaintiff against them.

In order to be successful in a lawsuit against the police, it is important that you have taken to protect your rights in court. First, save any evidence of police misconduct. This might include photographs or video, eyewitness testimony, or medical records if you suffered physical injuries.

If you are successful in a lawsuit against the police and prevail at trial the available damages depend on the circumstances of the case:

  • Economic Damages: if the court found that the police were guilty of misconduct, the plaintiff might be awarded economic damages to compensate for financial losses. Economic damages might include lost income, loss of future income, medical expenses, future medical care.
  • Non-Economic or General Damages: non-economic damages compensate the plaintiff for intangible losses or those that do not come with an easily calculated cost. These damages include pain and suffering, mental and emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, or loss of consortium.
  • Punitive Damages:punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for their misconduct. It is intended to deter the officer from engaging in the behavior again.

You May Like: How To Find Police Incident Reports

Scotus: Failure To Read Miranda Rights Not Independent Ground To Sue Police

The Supreme Court ruled 63 on June 23 that police cant be sued for failing to read an accused person his Miranda rights before moving forward with questioning.

The courts landmark 1966 ruling in Miranda v. Arizona generally prevents criminal courts from accepting as evidence against a criminal defendant any self-incriminating statement made by that defendant while hes in custody unless he first receives certain warnings spelled out in the Miranda decision. Critics have long decried Miranda as a judicial invention outside the U.S. Constitution that allows criminals to escape justice.

The case goes back to 2014 when Los Angeles County Sheriffs Deputy Carlos Vega arrested Terence Tekoh on suspicion that he had sexually assaulted a patient at a Los Angeles medical facility where he worked. Tekoh provided a confession to police even though they had failed to provide a so-called Miranda warning to him before he offered the confession, which he later recanted. The warning begins, You have the right to remain silent The confession was admitted into evidence at the criminal trial but the jury returned a verdict of not guilty.

The Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, provides a damages remedy for deprivations of any right secured by the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the United States.

Despite being acquitted, Tekoh believed his rights had been violated and decided to sue the police.

Mcginn Montoya Love & Curry Has Made A Difference

Here are some of the victories we have won to protect New Mexico residents against illegal police action.

Reorganization of the APD SWAT Team

Harper v. The Albuquerque Police Department, U.S. District Court for New Mexico, cause no. CIV 96-1048 .

The APD SWAT team was called to respond to a familys call for help with their suicidal loved one, who had walked into a wilderness area at night. After two hours in the cold, Larry Harper decided not to commit suicide. He was walking back to his truck in the dark when he was lit up by the SWAT team, then chased through the darkness by nine black-clad and camouflaged officers and two police dogs.

Mr. Harper was shot to death while hiding behind a tree and shouting that he had done nothing wrong. In addition to a monetary settlement, APD agreed to make 10 substantive changes in their policies and procedures, including reorganization of the SWAT team, tape-recording encounters with suicidal citizens, fingerprinting all weapons at the scene, and providing information and counseling to the families of citizens who are shot by the police.

Mandatory Police Training on the Dangers of High-Speed Pursuits

Jojola v. APD

On Jan. 27, 2000, Manoa Jojola, a gifted high school senior, was killed when city police chased a car 90 miles an hour down the interstate. After leaving the interstate, the car ran a stoplight and T-boned Manoas truck. The chase began without any evidence that the fleeing cars occupants had committed any crime.

Don’t Miss: How To Get Started As A Police Officer

Motion Seeks Evidence Of Past Violence At Rittenhouse Trial

The filing maintains police knew the militia was there to hurt people, pointing to social media responses such as Counter protest? Nah. I fully plan to kill looters and rioters tonightâ and Armed and ready. Shoot to kill tonight. The identities of the posters werent given in the lawsuit.

Regardless, police welcomed them, allowing them to patrol the streets with their guns after curfew. One officer told the militia we appreciate you guys, according to the lawsuit. Police later funneled protestors toward the militia, telling members they could take care of them, the lawsuit alleges.

Numerous officers saw Rittenhouse before and after the shootings but never asked him for identification, detained him or disarmed him, and let him walk past them even though people were yelling that he had shot people and he still had his rifle slung over his chest, according to the lawsuit.

If a Black person had approached police with an assault rifle, offering to patrol the streets with the police, he most likely would have been shot dead, the lawsuit said. If a Black child had shot three citizens with an assault rifle and was seen walking away from the scene of the shooting with the assault rifle in hand, while other citizens yelled he was an active shooter, he would have been shot dead.

City officials didnât immediately return messages Friday.

Huberâs familyfiled a similar federal lawsuitin August alleging police facilitated the shootings. That case is pending.

Do I Have A Civil Rights Or Police Brutality Lawsuit

Rochester police sued in federal civil rights lawsuit, claims of excessive force, racist practices

If you had an interaction with the police or a government official and think they crossed a line, you might have a legitimate claim for damages. Thats thanks to something called a Section 1983 lawsuit.

Under 42 U.S.C. §1983, individuals acting under color of state law can be held accountable for civil rights violations. The government explains that under color of law includes acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that officials lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties.

In other words, this basically means that you can sue a police officer or other government agent if, while acting under actual or suggested state authority, they violate your rights in some way.

What do you have to prove if you want to file a Section 1983 lawsuit? First, youll have to establish that the police officer deprived you of a right secured by the Constitution or state law. Next, youll have to prove that this happened by a person acting under color of law.

Recommended Reading: How To Become A Detroit Police Officer

The Canadian Human Rights Act

The purpose of the Canadian Human Rights Act is to protect individuals from discrimination. Enacted in 1977, the Act states that all Canadians have the right to equality, equal opportunity, fair treatment and an environment free of discrimination.

Under the Canadian Human Rights Act, Canadians are protected from discrimination and harassment when they are employed by or receive services from:

  • the federal government
  • First Nations governments or
  • private companies that are regulated by the federal government, including banks, trucking companies, broadcasters and telecommunications companies.

Can Evidence Found Through The Misconduct Be Excluded From Court

Victims in police misconduct cases can find themselves facing a criminal charge. Evidence may have been obtained by violating the suspects civil rights. The defense can bring a suppression motion asking that this evidence be excluded from trial. Without the evidence obtained through the misconduct, the prosecutor may have little else to use.

Misconduct victims can also file a civil rights lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983

You May Like: What Training Is Required To Be A Police Officer

Excessive Use Of Force

Unfortunately, excessive use of force claims against police officers are far too common in Philadelphia. Excessive use of force claims garner publicity because they are often outrageous or involve serious injuries or death. These types of claims often involved sexual assault by a police officer, police brutality, or unjustified police shooting against a suspect. Whether the amount of force an officer uses is reasonable depends on the cases facts and circumstances.

Courts will not look to the police officers motivations or intentions. They will focus on whether the police officer used a reasonable amount of force. Even if an officer had good intentions but used unjustifiable and unreasonable force against the victim, the victim can win a case against that police officer.

Other Federal Civil Rights Crimes

News photographers file civil rights lawsuit against New York City ...

The Justice Department may also charge defendants under other federal civil rights violations and hate crimes, including:

  • conspiracy to injure, threaten, or intimidate someone for exercising constitutional or legal rights
  • a pattern or practice by law enforcement officials to deprive people of their constitutional rights and
  • injuring or trying to injure someone because of the victim’s actual or perceived religion, national origin, race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability .

Don’t Miss: Are Police Records Public Information

What Is A Civil Right

Civil rights include the right to be free from unequal treatment, regardless of race, sex, age, disability, national origin, ancestry, religion, and in some cases, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Civil rights laws promote equal access and opportunity and protect people from unfair or discriminatory treatment.

These protections are enforced at the federal and state level in various settings, including education, housing, employment, voting, public accommodations , and more.

Speak To A Civil Rights Lawyer

Working with an attorney who is familiar with cases that deal with police misconduct could be the difference between your case sinking and gaining traction. These cases are generally complex to try in court. Moreover, if you were charged with a crime that was part of the incident in question, for instance, resisting arrest, police can use this to their defense.

Recommended Reading: How Much Do You Make As A Police Officer

Before Making A Claim

For your lawsuit against the police to be successful, the police must have done something to you that is against the law. In civil court, a wrongful act is called a tort.

For example, you may be able to make a claim for:

  • wrongful arrest and detention
  • assault and battery
  • negligent use of force

You must be able to tell the judge how the facts of your case show that the police did something to you that is against the law.

You have to prove your case on a balance of probabilities. This means you have to show the judge that your story is more believable than what the police say happened.

Representing All Victims Of Civil Rights Violations And Police Brutality In Nyc

Civil rights attorneys to sue for public records in fatal Titusville police-involved shooting

At Mirman, Markovits & Landau, P.C., we know that any violation of your civil rights can have dire consequences for years to come. Our NYC police misconduct lawyers will work tirelessly to hold the city, police department, correctional officers, and any other liable parties responsible for the harm youve endured. We represent clients in all civil rights violations and police brutality cases, including:

  • False arrests
  • Killing dogs without justification
  • Wrongful death, and more.

Our law firm knows that this is probably a very difficult time for you. We want to make things as easy as we can. Thats why well handle the details of your case from start to finish. Well investigate, interview, research, examine, consult, communicate, and negotiate. If necessary, well litigate. That way, you can focus on recovering from the incredibly traumatic experience youve just had. Give us a call today to schedule a free case assessment and learn more.

Recommended Reading: How Do I Know If Police Are Looking For Me

Section 1983 Of The Civil Rights Act

Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act provides rights to victims of police misconduct. Congress passed this law to stop oppressive conduct by groups such as the Klu Klux Klan and government officials. Section 1983 makes it illegal for anyone acting under the authority of the state to deprive another person of his or her rights under the Constitution or another federal law. The most common civil rights claims brought under this law include:

  • False arrest
  • Sexual assault by a police officer

How Does The Law Protect Civil Rights

Some civil rights are from the Constitution, but most civil rights result from federal legislation or federal court cases.

The most notable legislation is the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in employment, education, voting, and public accommodations.

Other federal legislation expanded protected rights, such as:

Many states have also enacted laws protecting equal access to services and freedom from discrimination and harassment for protected classes of people. In some cases, state laws protect more people than federal laws.

Altogether, these laws protect American civil rights by allowing victims of discrimination or harassment to bring civil lawsuits in state or federal court.

Also Check: How To Sign Up For Police Academy

More articles

Popular Articles