Police officers have a very important role in society, albeit a very dangerous one. In order to keep themselves safe from the variety of dangerous situations which they are faced with on a daily basis, the law gives them certain leeway in terms of defending themselves and those around them. However, when police officers take advantage of their authority they can usually always be held responsible and penalized for their actions. Especially in the case that a victim brings forward sufficient evidence to prove that the police brutality occurred in the first place.
Laws regarding police defense vary by state
Depending on which state a police officer is working in, their use of deadly force is largely controlled by the laws of that region. Some states have more strict rules than others. For example, states such as Tennessee only allow police officers to use deadly force, or arms which can potentially kill the alleged criminal, if they have tried every other method available first and failed.
This sounds like a reasonable rule and it goes without saying that if this law was more popular among the other states then cases of police brutality and unnecessary fatalities caused during arrest would be decreased at the least. Other states allow a lot more freedom to officers and they only vaguely state that the reason for using deadly force should be reasonable for the objective which the police officers are aiming to achieve. This clearly works in favor of police officers most of the time and gives a lot more room for police brutality to take place.
What can you do if a police officer used excessive force against you?
The leeway given to police officers in most states may make it seem like it will be nearly impossible to win a court trial against an officer but this is not the case. Police officers have been given a lot of room to use their power, authority, and weapons. However, there are laws which mandate the control of this power. If the power is abused and a person has their rights violated, then the officer is indeed breaking the law and they can very well be held to account for it.
Some laws which work to control police brutality include:
- The federal police misconduct provision
- Title VI of the civil rights act
- Title II of the Americans with disabilities act
These laws basically allow police officers to be penalized and held to account if they harm the rights of other individuals using excessive force, sexual abuse, false arrests, and similar mechanisms.
A police brutality attorney can help
A good first step to take is to call in a police brutality attorney to help a person start working on their case. If a police officer used excessive force or put a person under false arrest then these victims should contact and get in touch with an experienced police brutality attorney from the Law Offices of Bruce.S.Meth in San Diego, CA so that they can put together the best case possible.