Police officers hold a significant amount of power, far more than the average citizen has. And they are more than aware of this. Officers of the law not only use their power to protect and serve their communities, but some use it to apply excessive force—and sometimes even deadly, to individuals who they suspect have committed a crime. Others use their authority to harass and even abuse citizens who they come in contact with, whether they are suspicious or not, simply because they know that they can get away with it.
Needless to say, there are officers of the law who choose to abuse the power they have rather than use it for its intended purpose.
One way in which many officers of the law abuse their rights and power, which is often overlooked, is when they use their confidential work databases to look up personal information on an individual, whether it is someone they know or someone they want to get to know. But the truth is, officers are not permitted to use their work database to search for any information unless it is for work-related purposes. For instance, if an officer were to pull a vehicle over and wanted to confirm the identification of all the individuals inside, they could their database to find their names, addresses, phone numbers, etc.
Pembroke Pines police officers along with all others employed in the state of FL are also allowed to use their work databases to look up emergency contact information for a driver who was involved in a wreck. However, when an officer decides to use their database for their own personal advantage, it becomes an illegal act which means they are subjected to being punished for their behavior. In the past, Pembroke Pines officers have been held accountable for misusing their work databases for their own personal gain which has resulted in them having to pay the victim(s) in damages for their misconduct. And here’s why.
Not only is it a violation of a citizen’s privacy to look up their personal information without a valid reason for doing so, but many officers use the information they retain to commit crimes of their own. Some examples of these crimes include:
- Obtaining a person’s phone number they may have encountered earlier in the day so that they can contact them. They might use this phone number to call or text the individual in an attempt to go on a date.
- Getting information on romantic partners.
- Looking up information on business partners or potential business partners.
- Using their databases to find out more about their neighbors.
- Using the information they gain to either harass an individual or stalk them, both of which are illegal.
How can I hold a FL officer liable when they abuse their power?
When a FL police officer takes advantage of the power they hold, whether it by using their work database to look up information or by applying physical force in a situation that doesn’t call for it, an individual has the right to take legal action against that officer and/or the department in which they work for. While you are permitted to file a complaint on your own, you are better off hiring a Pembroke Pines, FL police brutality lawyer who can help you file a lawsuit against the officer and even recover compensation for the pain and/or suffering they have caused you.
If you are the victim of police misconduct and you live in Pembroke Pines, FL, contact USAttorneys.com today to get connected with a local police brutality lawyer in your area who has extensive experience in handling these types of cases and isn’t afraid to acknowledge when an officer of the law has misused their power.