With the widespread coverage of high-profile police killings like Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and George Floyd, a record level of awareness of police brutality has spread across the US. Most of us now grasp that we are protected by certain laws and regulations, and that police officers have a set of rules to follow in their line of duty.
While we understand that police officers have difficult jobs, we can’t let it slide when they step outside their bounds and hurt us or someone we care about after an unnecessary use of force.
If you or someone close to you has been the victim of police brutality in Georgia, you may be entitled to compensation under the law, and it’s imperative to get in touch with an experienced Georgia police brutality attorney to get justice and defend your rights.
What is police brutality?
Police brutality, or police misconduct, is an incident in which a police officer uses unnecessary force, outside their legal constraints to hurt or kill someone.
Police misconduct can include:
- Unwarranted seizures, arrest, or home invasions
- Excessive force causing personal injury
- Wrongful death
- False accusations or arrests
- Sexual abuse
These are just common examples, but police misconduct can occur in many ways.
Laws on police brutality
Under the constitution, everyone in the US is protected by:
The 4th amendment, which prohibits any unreasonable government searches and seizures. This amendment is brought up in the majority of police misconduct cases
The 8th amendment, which protects people who have already been convicted of a crime from unreasonable force or treatment.
The 14th amendment, which protects people who have been charged with a crime, but are awaiting trial, from unreasonable force or treatment.
Recently, governor Brian Kemp signed into law a “police protection” law that prohibits “bias-motivated intimidation,” or intentionally harassing or insulting a police officer because “of that person’s actual or perceived employment as a first responder.” A first responder could also be a firefighter or a paramedic.
This means that any claims of police brutality may have a hard time making it through the courts if it is determined that a plaintiff was harassing or intimidating a police officer beforehand.
Your legal options
Usually, the state will defend itself to protect its resources and reputation, making it hard to win most police brutality cases. Determining what is a “reasonable” use of force and what is “unreasonable,” as much of it can be very subjective. This is why so often it comes down to how an attorney frames the claim in the court of law.
Do you want justice from a police brutality incident?
If you’ve been the victim of police brutality in the state of Georgia, your best shot at getting justice is connecting with an experienced Georgia police brutality attorney to help navigate the legal process. Attorneys are waiting for you in Atlanta, Fairburn, and beyond.