While police often get away with harassing citizens and other forms of misconduct, some incidents are so egregious that local governments need to take action against the officers responsible.
Local news outlets in the Tyler area reported on serious misconduct by a police chief and others in the department in Hearne Texas.
Police chief and others suspended for misconduct
The allegations include a sergeant who was engaged in various forms of sexual misconduct, but never reprimanded by the chief. The officer in question had dealt with sexual harassment cases stemming from other officers while on another city’s police force, and his co-workers in Hearne also claim that he was engaged in various forms of sexual misconduct.
The same sergeant was also responsible for taking marijuana, cocaine, and other narcotics and flushing them down the toilet, which compromised the criminal cases that were going to introduce the drugs as evidence at trial. The chief knew about this incident and did take any disciplinary measures.
After a hearing by the local county for the city, the chief will be suspended without pay for two weeks, while three other officers will face various forms of discipline. No further information was available about the additional officers and their actions.
Misconduct harms the public
Even when police do not engage in physical violence against members of the public, other forms of misconduct like mishandled or planted evidence, false arrests, and sexual harassment or assault can still become the basis for lawsuits. Individuals can face financial consequences, psychological trauma, and damage to their reputations after these kinds of actions.
How to file a lawsuit
There are relevant civil rights laws that are active throughout the country regarding misconduct by government employees. These state that no one who works for the government can use their official capacity to harm any member of the public. In terms of the police, this is normally manifested in excessive use of force or beatings, false arrests, planted evidence, or sexual harassment. Many departments do not take complaints by citizens seriously enough, so it is important to contact an attorney to file a lawsuit as the best way to be repaid for any harms related to police misconduct. Even when officers are disciplined by their departments or criminal charges are filed for their actions, a civil case is still necessary for victims to receive compensation. This is true regardless of the outcome of any administrative investigations or the results of the criminal cases against them.
What is a lawsuit related to police misconduct worth?
This really depends on the amount of harm suffered by the victim and the reckless nature of the conduct by the officer. Something like a severe beating during an arrest that requires extensive medical treatment will generally be more valuable than the inconvenience caused by a false detention. However, it is always beneficial to get advice from a police brutality lawyer about your specific problems before proceeding with a lawsuit or making any financial decisions.
Speak with a police brutality attorney in your city
If you have been harmed by police misconduct in Tyler or anywhere close by in Texas, there is legal help available. The Cooper Law Firm specializes in helping local people who have been injured in all kinds of accidents.