When police officers use excessive force and harm victims without any valid reason, they are committing acts of police brutality. Unfortunately, police brutality is very common and many times these actions of unjustifiable aggression done by officers are targeted towards minority groups or towards those of a specific ethnic background and socioeconomic status.
As sad as it is, police brutality is nothing new and it has been a part of the police force since the formation of the first law enforcement system. Luckily, there are various laws across the United States that protect a person from suffering at the hands of a law enforcement officer.
One of the most important laws that protect a person from police officers is Title 18 of the United States Code. According to Title 18 of the United States Code, it is illegal for a police officer to stop a citizen from expressing their rights that are protected by the Constitution. Sexual assaults by officers, lethal force by officers, excessive force by officers, and even the improper use of pepper spray by an officer can be combating with Title 18. Every citizen has the right to safety, protection, and privacy as well.
Any police officer that violates a person’s constitutional rights can be held to account by the law. Apart from Title 18, Title 6 of the Civil Rights Act can also be referenced to help protect a person against the abuse of an officer. This Act states it is illegal for officers to discriminate against individuals due to their race, ethnicity, religion, or gender. There is also the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which protects individuals with disabilities from being harmed by the police.
What should I do if a police officer commits an act of police brutality against me?
If an officer commits an act of abuse or misconduct against a person, the victim should make sure they remain as calm as possible during the confrontation. A person should never hit an officer back and if the officer is physically attacking them, they should always be defensive as opposed to the offensive.
After a confrontation with an officer, a police brutality attorney should be contacted very soon. A police brutality attorney can guide a person on how much information they should give an officer and inform a person on whether the officer violated their rights. If it is determined that an officer violated their rights, they can further help a person with the legal process of putting the officer to justice and getting somehow compensated for their losses.