Sexual abuse/misconduct. Cases of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct by police officers result from officers who are found to have conducted sexual harassment, sexual abuse, sexual acts and/or other types of sex-related violations on an adult or minor and covers consensual sexual activity that occurs when an officer is on-duty, sexual assault and child molestation.  If a police officer has engaged in sexual harassment or abuse, under the guise of their professional employment, it is a form of police brutality where civil and criminal legal action may be brought against that officer.  Law enforcement officers are given broad power through the badge, to protect people and enforce the law but those who are sexual predators tend to target the general public through acts of police brutality.  Officers can lose their badges and become de-certified through these sexual offenses, including child pornography, and consensual, but prohibited, on-duty intercourse.

Formal national database. Currently, there is no formal national database to track and determine how widespread the problem is in law enforcement, however the Associated Press investigated these types of charges at police departments in the United States to glean a formal data set to support its claims.  They found that when officers are under investigation or found guilty of sexual harassment charges, they are often de-certified in that location.  Unfortunately, not all states have this process, nor do they keep records where data can be easily accessed so a police officer may become de-certified in one state and move on to another state law enforcement agency without the new employer’s awareness of past misconduct on the job.

Florida de-certification. Florida is a state that keeps records and found that 2,125 officers were de-certified between 2009-2014, and 162 were related to sexual misconduct on the job.  The State of Florida is automatically notified if an officer is arrested and loses their badge, but local departments must further report the sexual misconduct of those activities that are below the standards of “moral character” so that it can be categorized for future evaluation at multi-departmental levels.

Fort Myers Police Department strength. Fort Myers Internal Affairs detectives have been very busy in recent months investigating complaints of police brutality amid allegations of harassment in the community with officers turning a blind-eye to gang drug trafficking corruption, and police abuse through sexual misconduct in an illegal-sex sting operation in the community. A recent audit, “alleges that police corruption was never investigated and officers were directed to deal with the public in a “heavy-handed” manner.  A drug-trafficking network has been allowed to operate with impunity in Fort Myers, even killing witnesses” and the Fort Myers Police Department has not developed a strategy to resolve these community problems yet.

Internal affairs departments routinely investigate claims regarding:

  • Allegations of corruption and perjury;
  • Gross misconduct;
  • Allegations of the use of excessive force or brutality;
  • Use of lethal force;
  • Violations of civil rights;
  • Incidents requiring investigations that are lengthy, time consuming, involve multiple divisions/sections or when investigative resources are unavailable;
  • Sexual harassment;
  • Harassment in the work place.

Police brutality types. Police brutality is an illegal and actionable offense to be remedied in the interest of negatively affected citizens of the community when misguided police officers overstep the professional boundaries of their positions as law enforcement officers.  Sexual harassment is the second most common form of police brutality just below complaints of excessive force; and along with claims of  false arrest and wrongful imprisonment; wrongful search and seizure activity; racial and gender discrimination; and general abuse against civilians.

  • Sexual Harassment/Misconduct – unwelcome sexual advances, requests or demands for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by law enforcement in the course of their job.
  • 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.

Legal counsel. If you or someone you know has been victimized by a police officer through sexual harassment or sexual misconduct,  legal counsel is available for consultation to go over your legal options. Damages may include hospital/medical expenses; past and future permanent disability payments; emotional distress including depression and anxiety; loss of enjoyment of life; physical pain and suffering; and loss of love and companionship due to a death or serious injury caused by police brutality through sexual harassment or misconduct. Contact Chappell Law Group for your unique situation and to have your case reviewed.

5237 Summerlin Commons Boulevard, #366

Fort Myers, Florida 33907

Phone: 239-337-9875

Fax: 239-939-9793

Email: [email protected]

Sources:

http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2018/776.05

https://www.justice.gov/crt/addressing-police-misconduct-laws-enforced-department-justice

https://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_Am4.html

http://interactives.ap.org/2015/betrayed-by-the-badge/?SITEID=apmobile

http://www.winknews.com/2019/02/13/fort-myers-police-captain-at-the-center-of-a-disturbing-video-now-on-administrative-leave/

https://www.news-press.com/story/news/crime/2017/02/22/fort-myers-police-reveal-department-audit-results-1-pm/98248192/