Police brutality is an unfortunate occurrence, but it also seems to be a common topic for both local and national news. Many people are now more aware of the problem due to increased media attention on some of these incidents, as well as the ability of phones to easily record incidents.
Who Watches over the Police?
Police departments have their own investigative process called internal affairs. The reality is that limited time is put into investigating most incidents of misconduct and officer penalties for violating procedures or mistreating citizens tend to be lenient. Only the most serious offenses may result in officers being terminated from their positions or criminally prosecuted. This is why it is beneficial in most cases to retain your own lawyer if you have been harmed by a police officer.
Disturbing Trends in Phoenix and the Rest of Arizona
A number of recent incidents in Arizona show that police have been abusing their authority by engaging in sexual misconduct while on duty. The Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board has taken professional licenses from at least four officers since the end of 2017. The AZ Post has also taken various disciplinary measures against approximately 20 officers in the last couple of years. These offenses include preying upon both suspects and victims who were in contact with police during the course of investigations. In one case, an officer in Scottsdale had made sexual advances towards a distraught woman who was seeking help during a domestic violence incident. The media outlet that covered the story believes that these incidents are probably not reported very often, because the victims would have to go back to the same department to tell their story. The total number of incidents may be very high. Coverage of sexual misconduct in the news has affected celebrity culture, athletics, workplaces, and other areas. Yet it seems that police are still given too much liberty to engage in various kinds of improper behavior while on duty, and there are serious consequences for victims in the Phoenix area.
How Can I Get Help?
There is recourse if you have been hurt by an officer. By contacting a local lawyer you may be able to collect a significant amount of damages depending on the specifics of your case.
Lawyers usually handle these situations by bringing civil lawsuits against a police department to try to win monetary damages for a victim of police brutality. If the misconduct is serious enough, there may also be criminal charges brought against the officer for their actions, but unfortunately criminal convictions of police officers are rare. The best course of action is usually for the lawyer to file a suit against the individual officer and department and try to prove that the victim needs to be compensated.
If you have been mistreated by a police officer or know someone who has, please contact a local attorney in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Hopefully, as it becomes more common for people to come forward with these kinds of complaints, departments will begin to change their policies and watch their officers more closely. A qualified lawyer who is experienced in these matters can evaluate your case and make the officer repay you for your suffering.