National problems involving racism and police brutality make media headlines daily, and citizens as well as officers are paying the price for bad cops and separate criminal activity in their neighborhoods. Citizens are fearful to seek police assistance, and officers are hesitant in their interactions with perpetrators of crime who turn from lawbreaker to victim of police brutality in a negative police encounter. In the not so distant past, a white officer was acquitted of killing a black criminal who was high on drugs at the time. The actions of the officer were considered to be justified, but de-escalation training may have brought an end to this encounter with no fatalities. De-escalation techniques among police officers have grown in popularity as departments across the nation have developed policy and training to better deal with suspects and the public.
Ex-military turned cop pose dangers with use of force.
Police officers are allowed the “use of force” including hands, batons, tasers, or other weapons when necessary, and in accordance with officer training and department policy. Broad-based split decision authority given to police 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. Military-trained officers in Tulsa are conditioned to view potential suspects as enemies and may even suffer from post-traumatic stress disorders that cause hair-trigger reactions. Officer Shelby’s overreaction may be better understood in this context and not necessarily as a product of her being a racist.
Intense police situations may require the use of force, but excessive force may cause serious injury, and sometimes death as seen in the Crutcher case and many cases across the United States. Excessive force is not the only violation of police brutality: other actions include false arrest and wrongful imprisonment; wrongful search and seizure activity; sexual harassment; racial and gender discrimination; and general abuse against civilians. Policy brutality is an illegal and actionable offense to be remedied after police officers overstep the boundaries of “allowed use of force” as defined by individual State and local policy and based upon the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Common types of police brutality.
If you feel you have been compromised by police brutality through:
- Excessive Force – utilizing more physical force than necessary to subdue a criminal causing bodily harm or death.
- False Arrest and Wrongful Imprisonment – unlawful restraint of a person’s freedom of movement by another acting in perceived accordance with the law.
- Wrongful Search and Seizure Activity – protection from “unreasonable searches and seizures” notwithstanding probable cause enabling a search warrant.
- Racial and Gender Discrimination – bias-based policing is the intentional practice by an individual law enforcement officer who incorporates prejudicial judgments based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, religious beliefs, or age that are inappropriately applied in the performance of his/her duties.
- Sexual assault or harassment – using a position of authority for unwanted sexual advances or harassment.
Seek legal counsel.
If you feel that you or someone you know has been negatively affected by any form of Police Brutality, they may have cause to file an action with the court. Contact a legal professional at The Henson Law Office for a case consultation.
THE HENSON LAW FIRM, PLLC
Attorneys and Counselors at Law
601 S. Boulder, Suite 600
Tulsa, OK 74119
Telephone : (918) 551-8995
Cell Phone : (918) 859-8890
Facsimile : (918) 582-6106
Email : [email protected]