While it is understandable that FHP officers sometimes have to make certain decisions that others won’t agree with as they feel these are going to best protect themselves and the public, never should an officer engage in any type of inappropriate behavior that would violate an individual’s rights. Some examples of misconduct might include an officer who is being overly aggressive with a compliant suspect, being verbally abusive or rude to a citizen, or applying excessive force even after an individual has complied with all the officer’s commands. If and when a FHP officer doesengage in an act that might be considered to be a form of misconduct, the victim is entitled to file a complaint against him/her.
How do I file a complaint against a FHP officer?
Because FHP has jurisdiction mainly over the state highway system, complaints are either handled by a FHP Troop investigator or by the Office of the Inspector General. In order to file your complaint, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles state that you will need to write it up and include the following information:
- Describe the conduct of the employee. Be sure you are as specific as possible and include any words, phrases, etc. that was said by the officer. If their misconduct was displayed in a physical manner, be sure to write down what exactly what they did. For example, if the officer used vulgar language toward you and then violently grabbed you out of your vehicle without reasonable grounds for doing so, this should be included in your complaint.
- Identify the employee. It is best that you provide as much detail about the FHP officer as possible. Some things you might include if you have the information available would be his/her name, ID number, or their patrol vehicle license number.
- The date, time, and location of where the incident transpired.
- Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any witnesses who may have seen the officer engage in the act of misconduct.
Once you have written up your complaint, you will need to submit it to your local FHP office. A supervisor should be available to accept the complaint and should then submit it to the appropriate department. If your complaint isn’t serious in nature, it will likely be handled by a FHP Troop investigator, however, if it is serious, the Office of the Inspector General will likely conduct the investigation. Regardless of who is responsible for investigating your complaint, you can expect that the investigator will contact you, the FHP officer, and any witnesses.
If the investigator determines that the allegations made against the officer are valid, the officer will be subject to disciplinary action.
Is there anything else I can do to recognize a FHP officer in Okaloosa County, FL for misconduct?
If you feel that filing a complaint isn’t enough, you can always contact an Okaloosa County, FL police brutality attorney who can explain the other steps you can take to acknowledge an officer who behaved inappropriately. Depending on how serious the misconduct was, you might consider filing a lawsuit against the officer and/or their department, however, you will want to speak with a qualified lawyer to be sure it is in your best interest to do so.
If you would like to be connected with a police brutality lawyer in Okaloosa County, FL who can explain in depth what the lawsuit process entails, contact USAttorneys.com at your earliest convenience. It is always recommended that if you are going to take legal action that you do so early on while evidence and other pertinent information is still fresh in your mind.