Bias-based profiling leading to encounter.
If you have been illegally detained, searched or had any of your property seized by a Cocoa Police Officer based on traits that connect to you to a targeted group of bias, do not escalate the situation by counter aggression. Let officer arrest you and when you get to a place where there are more people, not just law enforcement officers, tell your side of the story. Coca Police Department complaint statistics for 2018 revealed that 41 complaints were issued and one of them was identified as bias-based in nature. The disposition of that complaint was unfounded and did not require discipline or retraining.
Document actions, and collect evidence.
If you believe the police action toward you is fueled by racial profiling, make sure you have evidence. Eye-witnesses are important, get names and contact information. Take photos at the scene or video-tape incident or if you suspect someone videotaped incident, ask them for help. Get medical attention to assess your injuries and get a formal report by physician so you will have it if you need it for proof in a court of law. Sometimes a bias-based encounter can escalate and touch on all forms of police brutality including:
- 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.
- Sexual assault – According to the United States Department of Justice, sexual assault is “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of another.” Enforcement of incidents of sexual assault vary by state.
Laws against police brutality.
Federal laws addressing police misconduct include criminal and civil statutes to cover officers’ action in State, county and local jurisdictions including prisons and jails. The laws are to protect all people in the United States and repair safety and community trust that has been damaged by these actions.
File formal complaint and contact legal counsel.
File a misconduct report with a supervisor or higher authority of law. If you are afraid to do so with the Cocoa Police Department, file a complaint with the Department of Justice for your district. If you have experienced any form of police brutality originating from bias-based profiling, immediately contact an attorney at the Templeton Law Firm, who can assist with your formal complaint and assess damages caused by your encounter with the Cocoa Police Officer. 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 of any form.
Templeton Law, P.A.
403 Brevard Ave Suite 2
Cocoa, Florida 32922