According to the National Police Research Platform, 27% of police officers in the U.S have used their guns while on duty. When a person is physically hurt by another individual then their first course of action should be to get to a safe place and check on their injuries. However, if the attacker is a law enforcement officer then things get slightly more complicated. By law, if an officer stops a person to investigate something then individuals are required to stop and listen to them.
The officer does need a valid reason to ask a person to stop but it is always a good idea to comply with an officer whether they can provide a valid reason or not because if a person does not comply things can escalate quickly and turn into a messy legal issue. If a person ends up getting hurt by this officer who is detaining them for one reason or the other then they can’t exactly run away and seek medical attention immediately.
On top of that, if the victim acts in self-defense and hits the officer back then they can get charged for battery on an officer and the penalty for this sort of crime is generally taken very seriously.
Instead, here are a few steps that individuals should take while they are being attacked and after the attack as well:
- Try to get a recording of the incident
- Stay calm and don’t resist arrest
- Self-defense is allowed against an officer who is using excessive force. However, instead of hitting back, a person should try to protect themselves to the best of their ability
- Ask the officer if you are free to leave or if you are being detained
- If you are free to leave take pictures of the injury and seek medical attention immediately
- Keep a copy of all medical records
- Write down what happened during the incident while it is still fresh in your mind
- If you are being detained ask why you are being detained. If the officer starts asking you questions you have the right to remain silent
- Contact a police brutality lawyer to get informed on civil rights laws and to take legal action
Can a lawyer really help me?
A police brutality attorney in Glendale, CA can help a person litigate against the officer who acted out in such a violent manner against them. Civil rights law is actually very complicated and can be very tricky to maneuver through on one’s own. Since civil rights law includes both federal laws and state laws it can be easy to miss out on valid claims which a person is allowed to make against the officer in court if they don’t have professional help on their side.
Whether a person was pulled over for a traffic violation or if they were being questioned for a crime they may have partaken in, they have every right to be treated with a certain degree of respect and officers are not allowed to lash out on them. If an officer has unnecessarily hurt anyone or their loved ones then they should get in touch with a lawyer to start the legal process towards possible compensation.