Despite what many individuals may think, police brutality is not a new development in the police force. In fact, police brutality can be traced back to the late nineteenth century when police institutions were first developed. These early cases of brutality were naturally much larger and more severe due to the lack of rules. Earlier on, there were almost no laws governing how police officers could behave in society and this lead to an extreme amount of abuse-of-power taking place. Major strikes in history such as the great railroad strike of 1912 were caused in part due to the severe amount of police brutality taking place.
March 1991, the beginning of reform
In March 1991 a severe case of police brutality which occurred on the streets of Los Angeles lead to an extreme amount of media coverage and justice was finally served. In this incident, a police officer viciously beat a suspect of African American descent. However, the scene was recorded by another nearby individual and that is what leads to the escalation in popular media at the time. The police officers involved were put on trial and two of them were faced with a 32-month sentence in prison. This was one of the first cases in which police brutality was brought to justice, and it certainly wasn’t the last.
Police brutality and the law today
Nowadays we have a lot of rights regarding what a police officer can and cannot do to us. Laws such as Section 1983 protect our persons from being harmed by an officer when we are not causing harm to anyone else. Despite the improvement in the law, there are still many cases of unjust brutality occurring across Fort Lauderdale. A police brutality lawyer in Fort Lauderdale can help anyone who feels like they have been harassed by a police officer. Police brutality attorneys understand the law and the rights that each person has. They can help a person figure out which rights of theirs were violated and escalate matters legally according to their specific situation.
Educate yourself on your rights
There are many ways through which a person can ensure their rights are not being violated, but in order to take those steps, one first has to know what their rights are. A few basic rights which apply to most states include:
- A person can record and take photographs without being stopped while they are in any public domain
- A police officer cannot search one’s personal belongs or enter ones home unless they have a warrant or unless they have a very strong reason to do so
- A police officer cannot physically harm or assault a person unless they were in imminent danger
One of the best ways to educate oneself is to get in touch with an attorney who specializes in dealing with cases of police brutality in Fort Lauderdale. Since they have studied the law in detail they can fill a person in on their rights and this can lead to a serious turn of events the next time a person is stopped by an officer.