How To File Charges Against The Police
This step cannot begin until all criminal charges and civil actions have been resolved. As have been previously said, prematurely filing a police misconduct report will hurt your chances in court by revealing too much information to the police. But if you were not charged with a crime, you can go ahead and file the charge.
14. Find out which right the officer contravened
Under the law, police officers have a defense known as qualified immunity. If you cant overcome this defense, you arent even entitled to sue the officer. Showing that the police officer violated one of your Constitutional rights is the first part of overcoming this defense.
Many police misconduct cases are based on the 4th Amendment, which protects you from unreasonable search and seizure. You should be able to prove that your case falls within this jurisdiction so you can be eligible to go to court.
15. File a lawsuit
If you think your complaints have yielded no results, then contact a qualified lawyer. Start by asking if there are further options that you can adopt in order to seek redress. If there are no other options, then pressing formal charges should be your next step.
On a final note, always keep in mind that the police are not immune to the law, and they must abide by both the laws that bind their profession and those that protect civilians. You should always stand up to hold them accountable whenever they exceed their boundaries by harassing or abusing you.
Getting Started Identify The Problem
You’ve got to address specific problems. The first step, then, is to identify exactly what the police problems are in your city. What’s wrong with your police department is not necessarily the same as what’s wrong in that of another city. Police departments differ in size, quality of management, local traditions and the severity of their problems. Some departments are gravely corrupt others are relatively “clean” but have poor relations with community residents. Also, a city’s political environment, which affects both how the police operate and the possibilites for achieving reform, is different in every city. For example, it is often easier to reform police procedures in cities that have a tradition of “good government,” or in cities where racial minorities are well organized politically.
The range of police problems includes
1) Excessive use of deadly force.
2) Excessive use of physical force.
3) Discriminatory patterns of arrest.
4) Patterns of harassment of the homeless, youth, racial minorities and gays, including aggressive and discriminatory use of the “stop-and-frisk” and overly harsh enforcement of petty offenses.
5) Chronic verbal abuse of citizens, including racist, sexist and homophobic slurs.
6) Discriminatory non-enforcement of the law, such as the failure to respond quickly to calls in low-income areas and half-hearted investigations of domestic violence, rape or hate crimes.
7) Spying on political activists.
Police Harassment And A Citizens Constitutional Rights
As American citizens, we expect police to treat us fairly and keep us safe. It is their foremost responsibility to protect the public, an often difficult task, and that includes protecting our Constitutional and civil rights.
Though they encounter challenging situations as a matter of duty, they are trained to respect and comply with Constitutional, federal and state laws. Nevertheless, during a police encounter, emotions can escalate. However, that doesnt excuse police from exceeding their lawful powers and harassing citizens.
The Constitutions 5th and 14th amendments prohibit all levels of government, which includes the police, from unfairly or arbitrarily depriving individuals of their rights to life, liberty, and property. Section 1 of the California Constitution states the very same protections.
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What Is The Most Effective Way To Voice A Police Harassment Issue
If you feel like you are a victim, first file a harassment complaint against the police officer you feel is harassing you at his place of employment. If that does not end the harassment, filing a complaint within the Internal Affairs Bureau is the next route to take. However, before filing a complaint within the Internal Affairs Bureau, you must keep a detailed record of every instance that you feel harassed by law enforcement or a specific officer.
How To Sue For Police Harassment
Police officers receive adequate training to ensure that theyre able to set aside their personal biases when on the job. Unfortunately, some police officers use their powers under the law to commit acts of police harassment. These actions of unjust assumptions or abuse of power can lead to a civil lawsuit and disciplinary action by their superiors. As a victim of police harassment, you can commence a lawsuit against the law enforcement officers to get compensated for any damages incurred.
Have you been harassed by the police? Wondering if you can sue for police harassment? As a civilian, you may expect that all law enforcement officers have a duty to protect and serve the community. While most of them do, there are some who abuse their power and end up facing police misconduct cases. With the help of a lawyer, you will understand your rights and take steps to pursue compensation for any damages incurred as a result of police misconduct.
There are many situations that may be classified as police harassment. For instance, if police officers are overly aggressive or threatening when questioning a suspect, perform an illegal search and seizure, or stop and frisk an individual illegally, such conduct may be considered police harassment.
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Negligent Infliction Of Emotional Distress
Citizens can also sue police officers when the latter cause emotional distress negligently, rather than intentionally or recklessly. The extent of emotional harm required for a successful lawsuit depends on the jurisdiction.
But in order for there to be potential liability for negligently caused emotional distress, the officer must owe a “duty of care” to the citizen. In other words, the court will consider whether the officer had some kind of special relationship with the plaintiff that’s distinct from the general police responsibility to the public at large.
For example, in a Louisiana case, a rape victim sued a sheriff for the emotional distress she suffered when the evidence in her case was mistakenly destroyed before a suspect had been arrested. The court held that the duty to preserve evidence goes to the general public, and that law enforcement doesn’t owe any special duty to protect an individual from the misplacement or mistaken destruction of evidence. .)
Legal Or Illegal Arrest
Police have broad latitude in carrying out their function to fight crime and to protect citizens. Being stopped by an officer is not a pleasant experience, but even if you are innocent, police officers are not liable for violating your civil rights if they are performing their duties properly. For example, if the officer had probable cause to believe you may have committed a crime, your arrest is most likely proper, and you will have no legal recourse. It is of no consequence if the facts the arresting officer relied on turn out to be false as long as the officer reasonably believed them to be true at the time of your arrest.
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Method : Get A Lawyer For A C& d
Having a lawyer send a Cease and Desist Letter to the Harasser is a legal demand that he / she immediately ceases all forms of harassment as well as having other individuals harass on his / her behalf. Having a lawyer send a letter is not expensive in terms of your live versus spending money to save your life and it is exceptional evidence for moving forward in the event that you ultimately need to file a legal case against the individual.
BUT have caution, Cease and Desist letters should not be taken lightly. When you retain a lawyer to create and send a C& D, it is a legal demand and you cannot be equally a harasser or feeding into the harassment game. If this really is the case and you choose to fool your lawyer by claiming to be an innocent victim of harassment, you could find yourself in a ton of legal trouble and a financial drain to *attempt to* fix it.
Are You Or Someone You Know Being Stalked
Are you afraid for your safety or the safety of someone known to you because of the words or actions of another person?
- Is someone repeatedly following you or someone known to you from place to place? Repeatedly is more that one time and does not have to be for an extended period of time. The incidents may have occurred during the same day.
- Is someone repeatedly communicating with you, either directly or indirectly?Directly can be by telephone, in person, leaving messages on answering machines, or sending unwanted gifts, notes, letters or e-mails.Indirectly can be by contacting people you know and having messages sent through them or simply by making repeated unwanted inquiries about you.
- Is someone persistently close by or watching your home or any place where you or anyone known to you live, works, carries on business or happens to be?
- Have you or any member of your family been threatened by this person?
If you can answer yes to any of these questions you or someone you know may be a victim of criminal harassment .
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What Do I Need To Prove To Sue The Police For Harassment
Police misconduct encompasses anumber of different types of claims against the police, includingdiscrimination, false arrest, and excessive use of force in view of thecircumstances. A person who wishes to file to claim police harassment will needto verify that:
- Thepoliceman or law enforcement official who caused the harassment hasdemonstrated a pattern of harassing behavior. A single incident of harassmentby one individual is rarely sufficient to sustain a police harassment claim.
- Thepoliceman who caused the harassment did not have probable cause or anappropriate warrant for an arrest. Courts will not hesitate to dismiss claimsof harassment against the police if the victim of that harassment is unable toshow that the police had no probable cause to arrest him. Even a belief ofprobable cause by the policeman may be sufficient to reject an argument that anarresting officer did not have evidence-based probable cause.
- Theexcessive force used by the policemen caused serious injury or death. The burden is often placed on the victim toshow that the circumstances of an excessive force event did not merit thepolicemans harassing conduct.
Although these factors might seemto suggest that a lawsuit for police harassment is unlikely to succeed, thespecific facts and evidence of a particular event will be the crux of proving apolice harassment case.
How To Deal With Someone Who Is Harassing You
This article was co-authored by Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS. Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 11 testimonials and 81% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 737,855 times.
If someone is constantly threatening you, following you, attempting to make sexual advances, or refusing to leave you alone, you need to learn how to protect yourself. Start by telling the person that you dont like the behavior and asking them to stop. If the harassment doesn’t let up, take measures such as involving the police and increasing your security. In some circumstances, you might need to file for a restraining order to keep your harasser away.
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Police Officers Can Use Stop And Frisks To Harass Innocent Citizens
Various actions can be classified as police harassment. In some cases, law enforcement officers use legitimate police protocols against ordinary citizens to harass them. While police officers do have the right to stop and question citizens, they cannot simply stop anyone they do not like and they cannot arbitrarily choose people to stop and question. Police officers must have reasonable grounds to believe that a crime has been committed and that the citizen was involved in the crime.
Law enforcement officers are permitted to engage in a limited protection search. They are not allowed to use these types of searches to harass people. Police officers must be able to give an account for the basis of their reasonable suspicion that a person is armed before they can frisk someone for weapons. Their reasonable suspicion must be based on objective facts that they can articulate, not just a gut feeling. According to the plain view doctrine, if police officers simply see an item that is contraband, they can confiscate it legally and take any further action as appropriate. However, sometimes police officers will falsely claim that they saw contraband or thought they saw contraband to justify harassment.
There are many different types of police harassment, such as the following:
- Illegal detention
- Illegal stop and frisk without objectively reasonable suspicion
- Making sexist, racist, or homophobic comments
- Sexual harassment
Method : Change Your Actions And Thinking
This is probably the hardest thing to do because it requires nerves of steel, but remember the saying what doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger its very true. In life, we can never control someone elses actions, but we can always control our own actions, and our own actions are based on emotion. Once you learn to master your emotions you will be able to think with a clear head. As humans, we choose the outcome of almost all situations. Think of a terrible situation such as a death you can choose to morn and be depressed for the rest of your life OR you can choose to grieve then make something positive out of the traumatic experience in honor of the one you loved OR you could also choose to send your own life on a downward spiral. The choice is ultimately YOURS and only yours.
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Civil Lawsuits: Section 1983
Under the Civil Rights Act of 1871, a victim of police misconduct involving a violation of the person’s civil rights can sue the offending officer and the department that employed the officer. Often referred to as a Section 1983 lawsuit , this civil action permits victims to seek money damages for their injuries. The law is meant to deter police misconduct and encourage departments to provide robust training for officers.
However, not all victims recover damages. Victims face a sometimes insurmountable hurdle called “qualified immunity.” Qualified immunity lets officers off the hook for civil liability unless the officer violated a “clearly established” right. The doctrine of qualified immunity is meant to protect officers from liability when they must make quick decisions that are reasonable but end up being flawed. But critics argue that it’s nearly impossible for victims to meet the standard, and as a result, qualified immunity provides an absolute shield for officers’ misconduct.
Forms Of Police Brutality Police Harassment And Police Discrimination
Police officers receive training that teaches them to set aside their personal biases, use their powers under the law properly, and avoid committing acts of police brutality, police harassment, police discrimination, and false arrest. Despite their training, however, it is not uncommon for officers to abuse their power or to act on unjust assumptions.
Unfortunately, instances of police brutality, police harassment, police discrimination, and false arrest do occur as a result of this, and the majority of police assault and abuse cases involve either excessive physical force or sexual misconduct. Police officers are known for never speaking out against each other an unwritten but understood code of conduct known as the blue wall of silence. Since police officers are essentially under the supervision of each other, this code tends to make officers feel like they can commit acts of police brutality, police harassment, police discrimination and false arrest without fear of repercussion or disciplinary action by their superiors.
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I Feel Ive Been A Victim Of Police Harassment What Shall I Do Now
If you feel that youve been a victim of police harassment, dont suffer in silence. It is possible to make a claim against the police, and with the help of our expert police claim solicitors you have a good chance of getting the compensation you deserve.
Contact a member of our friendly and approachable team to discuss your case and get started on the police claims process.
Title Vi Of The Civil Rights Act Of 1964 And The Ojp Program Statute
Together, these laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, and religion by State and local law enforcement agencies that receive financial assistance from DOJ. . These laws prohibit both individual instances and patterns or practices of discriminatory misconduct, i.e., treating a person differently because of race, color, national origin, sex, or religion. The misconduct covered by Title VI and the OJP Program Statute includes, for example, harassment or use of racial slurs, discriminatory arrests, discriminatory traffic stops, coercive sexual conduct, retaliation for filing a complaint with DOJ or participating in the investigation, discriminatory use of force, or refusal by the agency to respond to complaints alleging discriminatory treatment by its officers. What remedies are available under these laws? DOJ may seek changes in the policies and procedures of the agency to remedy violations of these laws and, if appropriate, also seek individual remedial relief for the victim. Individuals also have a private right of action in certain circumstances under Title VI and under the OJP Program Statute in other words, you may file a lawsuit yourself under these laws. However, you must first exhaust your administrative remedies by filing a complaint with DOJ if you wish to file in Federal Court under the OJP Program Statute.
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