The role of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department is to “provide a safe and orderly environment through professionalism and dedication while building and maintaining an active partnership with the community.” While most police officers are able to do this without violating the rights of the citizens they come in contact with, a handful of others cannot which leads to not only a disconnect between the community and the officers that patrol it but also individuals being mistreated, harmed, and abused. If an officer in Fort Lauderdale has physically harmed you during the time of your arrest or mistreated you in any other way, you will want to report the incident so that is can be addressed.
Reporting Your Case of Police Misconduct to the Right Department
The Office of Internal Affairs not only works to “protect the public trust and to maintain the integrity of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department” but it is also responsible for conducting a thorough and fair investigation when a complaint is filed against an officer. The Internal Affairs Unit not only looks into excessive force complaints but also:
- Allegations of criminal misconduct.
- Allegations of false arrests.
- Complaints filed for racial profiling or biased policing.
- All use of force complaints, regardless of whether a complaint has been filed against an officer.
- Members of the Internal Affairs Unit are also expected to respond to a scene where an officer has discharged their firearm and conduct an investigation to determine whether the officer’s actions were in “accordance with the Department’s policy and procedure guidelines.”
Filing Your Excessive Force Complaint Against a Fort Lauderdale Police Officer
If you believe a police officer has applied excessive force during your arrest, you may want to consult with a police brutality attorney first before filing your complaint to ensure it is valid and the officer’s use of force would constitute as an act of excessive force. Once an attorney has confirmed that the officer applied excessive force, you may then wish to file your complaint with the Internal Affairs Unit. The Fort Lauderdale Police Department says that you can submit your complaint in one of three ways. These include:
- In person. You can hand deliver your complaint at the following address:
255 NE 3 Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
- Via email to the following email address: [email protected]
- By telephone. The phone number for the Complaint Hotline is 954-828-6956
Given that your complaint involved an officer applying excessive force, you can expect that the Unit will request that a sworn, taped statement be provided. However, before doing so, you will want to consult with your Fort Lauderdale, FL police brutality lawyer so that he/she can review with you what information needs to be provided in your statement. If you wish to locate an attorney in Fort Lauderdale now who can begin helping you with your issue, contact USAttorney.com.
What are the potential outcomes after the Unit investigates my excessive force complaint?
After conducting a thorough investigation, the Unit will derive at one of the four dispositions:
- Not Sustained. If this is the outcome of the investigation, it means the Unit did not have enough evidence to confirm or deny your allegations.
- The allegations made in your complaint are true.
- Although your complaint had validity, the police officer’s actions were “justified and/or consistent with the agency’s policy.”
- The complaint is not a valid one or the Unit was unable to identify any credible evidence.
Because many complaints filed against officers for excessive force often result with the officer getting a slap on the wrist, it is best you contact a police brutality attorney in Fort Lauderdale, FL who is willing to defend your rights and take the necessary steps to hold the officer accountable for his/her behavior. If you are ready to speak with a lawyer in your area now who is qualified and capable of providing you with the legal services you need, contact USAttorneys.com today.