Police misconduct and police brutality are very common and have been part of the police system since the very beginning. Over the years, the law has intervened and decreased the amount of power given to officers to help control the level of brutality occurring. Though there has been a significant improvement over the years, police brutality is still a major issue of concern today, particularly police misconduct towards minority groups and towards those of African American heritage.
The truth is there are no solid statistics concerning police corruption and police violence because of the lack of investigation done by professionals. Common forms of police misconduct include sexual harassment, use of excessive force, jail medical negligence, prison abuse, false arrest, and tampering with evidence. The question arises that if police misconduct is so widespread, why is it allowed to continue and why hasn’t it been stopped by now? The answer to this question is complex and it comes in layers, both regarding most police officers’ beliefs, and the nature of their work.
First, there is a fear of a cover charge. Most victims are afraid to charge an officer with brutality because the officer will most likely put a countercharge of something serious such as assault by the victim and this can make matters very complicated for the person. Most people who are hurt by officers refrain from charging them out of fear of having this cover charge placed on them. The cover charge offers the officer protection against the claims of brutality.
Apart from the cover charge, there is also a blue code of silence. This code is an unwritten agreement by most-if not all- officers that they will remain silent and will not complain about the criminal actions of a fellow police officer. The fear of having a cover-charge laid on them stops the victims from filing complaints, and the blue code of silence prevents fellow officers from filing complaints against other officers. Both these factors combined can begin to explain why police officers can get away with so much.
What can a police brutality lawyer do for me if I am charged with a cover-charge by a police officer?
A lawyer who is experienced in dealing with police brutality cases regularly can help a person collect evidence to prove the cover-charge is false and that the original civil claim they made against the officer is the truth. With enough evidence, the victim will be able to clear their name and put the officer to justice for the criminal acts that they were committing.