Videos of police brutality against people who do not pose any threat of continued violence have been the subject of much attention over the years. An incident in Marion County Florida has several parallels to the most high profile police beatings, as it shows an unarmed man who is surrendering being kicked and stricken a number of times by officers.
Recording of multiple local officers using unnecessary force
A former deputy from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office was indicted on federal criminal charges for excessive use of force and civil rights violations for his actions during a police beating. The surveillance video of the incident begins by showing the victim placing his hands in the air and moving to the ground to surrender. Several deputies then emerge from the back of a truck and begin dealing a number of blows to the victim with both their hands and feet. The suspect was to be taken into custody on drug charges only, and there does not seem to be any threat of violence at all based on the recording.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office released a statement which said the officers violated their oath to protect the community and reminded citizens to not let their actions speak for a department that overwhelmingly conducts itself with professionalism. All of the officers involved in the incident faced some kind of criminal charges and administrative discipline.
The right to use force
In any situation that is already under control, the police do not have the legal authority to use violence against anyone. Their ability to use force and violence is supposed to be limited to situations that prevent further damage to victims and the public as a whole. In cases where a suspect is already detained or has surrendered and is still beaten by police, this is a clear cut case of police brutality. If there is video evidence of such an incident or multiple witnesses because the beating happened in public, these are all great tools which can be leveraged by a skilled lawyer. Such accounts give concrete proof that police abused their authority and had no reason to injure someone who was already in custody. There is little that can be done to defend such actions.
When a lawyer has any kind of proof of this level of improper behavior, they can file federal lawsuits which allege violations of civil rights and excessive use of force.
It is also important to realize that in a case such as this, the pending criminal charges against the officers would not prevent a civil lawsuit against their department. Police departments or the government that provides law enforcement services is always liable for the actions of employees while they are working. Lawyers who have dealt with police misconduct know that a department or city has a much better ability to pay out a large judgment for a civil lawsuit, which is why they are always joined as a defendant when the initial pleadings are filed. It is also a basic principle of the law that employers are strictly liable for damages caused by their employees while they are performing their job duties.
Speak to an attorney in Marion County today
Local lawyers who practice in the state of Florida and the Marion County area can speak with you about incidents involving the police. Their experience in dealing with improper police behavior will help guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit and being paid for your injuries.