Colorado – February 7, 2021

The Denver Police Department takes matters of excessive force seriously to insure a rebuilding of community trust.  Officers must perform their duties under intense and dangerous conditions with all eyes upon them, leaving no margin for error in judgment as they strive to preserve community peace as their mission.  When poor judgment during an officer encounter leads to excessive force harm, or sustained personal injury, an experienced police brutality attorney can help victims with civil and criminal legal actions.

Police excessive force.

Excessive force is the term described as “using continued force even after a criminal has been subdued,” and has been justified in high intensity situations where the potential for serious bodily harm, mass bodily harm, and death were present.  The broad-based authority given to police “under color of law” to use force while apprehending criminals, utilizing both physical and psychological methods, to deter and reduce crime is based on policy that dictates what is considered “reasonable” force in any given situation and is often difficult to clarify and measure. When victims suffer catastrophic personal injury, or death due to an excessive force encounter, the services of a skilled police brutality lawyer may be necessary to recover compensation to take care of expenses that are a result of the personal injury, or death.

Laws supporting police brutality litgation.

Federal laws address police brutality action based on the deprivation of another person’s rights under United States Constitution (18 U.S.C. §§ 241, 242), and criminal and civil legal action can be initiated to remedy the injustice, with the possibility of fines and/or prison time. The laws are to protect all people in the United States whether they are citizens, or not.   In the Colorado Revised Statutes, Title 18 outlines when an officer is justified in the use of any force, and the duty of a police officer to report if they witness excessive force as follows:

Colorado justified force.

Section 18-1-707 covers justified use of force whereby “a peace officer is justified in using reasonable and appropriate physical force upon another person when, and to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary: to effect an arrest, or to prevent the escape from custody of an arrested person unless he knows that the arrest is unauthorized;  or to defend himself, or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of physical force while effecting or attempting to effect such an arrest or while preventing or attempting to prevent such an escape.”

Colorado officer report of excessive force.

Section 18-8-802 addresses the duty to report offenses of excessive force. A peace officer who, in pursuance of such officer’s law enforcement duties, witnesses another peace officer, in pursuance of such other peace officer’s law enforcement duties in carrying out an arrest of any person, placing any person under detention, taking any person into custody, booking any person, or in the process of crowd control, or riot control, used physical force which exceeds the degree of physical force permitted pursuant to Section 18-1-707 must report such use of force to such officer’s immediate supervisor.

Formal complaints and lawsuits.

Victims of excessive force, or other forms of police brutality, may make a formal complaint to the police department itself, and initiate further civil, or criminal lawsuits with the court system to prove a strong case against police brutality.

Hire a lawyer.

Victims, or loved ones who have suffered harmful loss due to the actions of police brutality in Denver Colorado should seek legal counsel.  Consultation should occur as soon as possible to review the incident and begin the process of a formal complaint and/or legal action with the courts. A personal injury attorney will be able to measure personal injury damages, including hospital/medical expenses; emotional distress, including depression and anxiety; loss of enjoyment of life; and physical pain and suffering after an unlawful police officer encounter that caused residual harms.

 

Sources:

http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title18-section242&num=0&edition=prelim

http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title18-section241&num=0&edition=prelim