Police brutality is a widespread national concern in America.
Citizens and potential victims of police misconduct have built walls up against law enforcement officials and there are spores of distrust in Brooklyn communities that continue to grow and spread, especially after the Eric Garner lawsuit that concluded with the police officer finally being fired last month. Patterns of excessive force causing physical harm and/or death, sexual assaults, unlawful searches and false arrest, often resulting from bias-based profiling have made Brooklyn streets more dangerous to citizens.
Bias-based profiling is the intentional practice by an individual law enforcement officer to incorporate personal prejudicial judgments based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, religious beliefs, and age. Police, under color of law, are allowed to use their authoritative powers to apprehend criminals. Sometimes the aggressive or biased actions escalate an incident into an egregious life-damaging event for the victim and/or their families.
Action against community mistrust.
Community distrust has led to a disconnect between police officers and the people they are supposed to serve and protect. The Brooklyn Police Department must continue to make efforts to bridge the gap of distrust and find ways to strengthening existing relationships with influential community members, including local clergy and media outlets that can support their efforts and activities toward rebuilding lost community trust. Utilizing social media for a “give and take” platform may create an open honest dialogue between the department and the community through measures of transparency.
De-escalation training effective to reduce excessive force.
Departments in the State of New York are not required to have de-escalation training but are required to undergo annual instruction in deadly physical force and the use of firearms and other weapons. Options for safe restraint measures should be highlighted in “de-escalation” tactics to slow down a police encounter that will allow officers more time, distance, space and tactical flexibility during dynamic situations on the street. Components of de-escalation include:
- 1) Listen respectfully.
- 2) Crowd control.
- 3) Courteous example.
- 4) Body language reducing intimidation.
- 5) Control offensive talking or action during encounter.
- 6) Don’t publicly humiliate anyone and be respectful.
- 7) Don’t waste time and energy trying to convince a citizen that he’s wrong and you’re right.
- 8) Remember that “broken record” is a useful way to achieve two goals—conveying the message that you’re in charge while keeping the lid on a potential conflict.
Laws and damages.
There are various federal and state laws including the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, Title 6 of the Civil Rights Act, Title 42 United States Code, and Americans with Disabilities Act, to name a few, that insure remedy to individuals who have suffered the negative effects of police brutality. Damages may include hospital/medical expenses; past and future permanent disability payments; emotional distress including depression and anxiety; loss of enjoyment of life; physical pain and suffering; and loss of love and companionship due to a death or serious injury caused by police brutality through excessive force.
Hire a lawyer.
Call the Greenberg Law Firm in Brooklyn if you believe you have suffered from police misconduct or actions of brutality and want to discuss your potential legal action for damages.
Greenberg law firm
139 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201