Incidents of police brutality can be traumatizing and demoralizing. In a matter of minutes, these interactions can leave a lasting imprint on your present and your future. Whether you have experienced police brutality yourself, know someone who has or have lost someone to it, consulting a police brutality attorney in Delaware can be of great help. Regardless of the challenges you may face in your attempts to sue a police officer, a seasoned and knowledgeable attorney can orient and redirect you when needed so that you can obtain the closure and compensation you need and deserve.

Can You Sue a Police Officer in Delaware?

The short answer is yes. But if we are to dig deep into that answer, the fact is that there are a lot caveats when it comes to suing police officers in the state of Delaware and in virtually all U.S. states. The reason behind this, according to the Equal Justice Initiative is ‘qualified immunity’, “a court-created rule that limits victims of police violence and misconduct from holding officers accountable when they violate a person’s constitutional right.” Under this doctrine, “a police officer cannot be put on trial for unlawful conduct, including the use of excessive or deadly force, unless the person suing proves that the evidence shows that the conduct was unlawful; and the officers should have known they were violating “clearly established” law, because a prior court case had already deemed similar police actions to be illegal.”

Per the National Conference of State Legislatures, “the Supreme Court has offered multiple justifications for qualified immunity, including that it encouraged government officials to “unflinching[ly] discharge…their duties” without worrying about being sued for actions a court has not yet held violate the constitution. According to the Supreme Court, while qualified immunity “do[es] not require a case directly on point, “it does require that “existing precent must have placed the statutory or constitutional question beyond debate.” This doctrine continues to undercut many efforts made by civilians to hold police officers accountable after incidents of brutality.

How can a Police Brutality Attorney in Delaware Help?

While there are evidently a series of obstacles in the way of those who try to sue a police officer, a police brutality attorney is aware of these challenges and knows the importance of being familiarized with case law. They know that without precedent it’s difficult to sue, so they will work tirelessly to find a precedent for your case to stand on. But if precedent is not found, they can still help you obtain monetary compensation for your damages.

In many ways, police officers do have a great advantage when it comes to police brutality cases, but we highly suggest that you don’t let that deter you from making your case. For more information on a police brutality attorney in Dover, Delaware who can help, we invite you to scour our attorney database.