There are many laws, both on the state and federal level, that protect the citizens of Delaware against police brutality. For instance, House Bill 350 is one bill that was signed into law in 2020 that prohibits the use of chokeholds by law enforcement officers. According to HB 350, if an officer knowingly or intentionally uses a chokehold on another person, they are guilty of Aggravated Strangulation.

The bill goes on to state that “a chokehold is only justifiable when the person reasonably believes deadly force is warranted in order to protect the life of a civilian or law enforcement officer.” Officers who apply a chokehold when the circumstances do not call for it can be charged with Aggravated Strangulation which is a Class D felony. If the officer causes a person to suffer a serious or fatal injury while in the process of applying a chokehold, the crime is then increased to a Class C felony.

If an officer in Delaware applied a chokehold on a suspect and they are looking to acknowledge the officer for their unlawful behavior, USAttorneys.com can get them connected with a Delaware police brutality attorney who would be happy to assist them with this.

 

Other Laws That Protect Against Police Brutality

 

In addition to HB 350, the U.S. Constitution also protects individuals from police brutality. For instance, the Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unlawful arrests and searches. Generally, before a law enforcement officer can make an arrest or conduct a search, they must have probable cause to do so.1 This means the officer must have a “reasonable basis” for assuming a crime has been or may have been committed.

Officers who use an individual’s race, gender, religion, etc. as their basis for stopping someone or making an arrest may be accused of discrimination and could face disciplinary action for engaging in such behavior. Some other examples of officer misconduct that could lead to civil and/or criminal action against an officer include:

  • Excessive force
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual assault
  • Falsifying police reports

 

What to do after a Delaware police officer engages in unlawful behavior?

 

If an individual suffered physical or psychological injuries as a result of an officer violating a state or federal law, they may be able to recover compensation by bringing a civil action against the officer or the department they are employed with. Some of the damages an individual might be entitled to recover include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Medical expenses
  • Embarrassment

 

Because it can be challenging to prove an officer violated a law or a civilian’s rights, it is recommended that they retain a Delaware police brutality lawyer who can help them file their lawsuit. USAttorneys.com works closely with some of the top police brutality attorneys in the State of Delaware and would be happy to help a victim of officer misconduct get connected with one now.

 

Source:

  1. https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/probable_cause