Incidents of police brutality have been taking place for years, disproportionally affecting the lives of black and brown people in the United States of America. While the victims of it have certainly been hyperaware of the frequency with which it occurs and the impact that it has on those who suffer through it, it isn’t until recent years, that this issue has been elevated to the frontpages of newspapers. After the killing of George Floyd, an African American man, a human being, whose life was taken at the hands of a menacing police officer who knelt on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the issue of police brutality and the role systemic racism played and continues to play in incidents of police brutality has been categorized as one that demands immediate and powerful solutions. Although these cases come with certain challenges, it is advised that if you or someone you know has been involved in a police brutality incident, you consult with a police brutality attorney in Colorado who can help you navigate them.
The Challenges to Holding Police Officers Accountable:
According to the Human Rights Watch, “existing structures in the United States to hold police officers to account for misconduct and abuses are largely ineffective. Over the years, legislators have passed laws, judges have imposed doctrines, and police departments and prosecutors have implemented policies and practices that systemically protect officers and police departments from meaningful scrutiny.” The most significant of these laws protecting police officers that make it much more challenging to sue them, is commonly known as “qualified immunity”. This, according to the Equal Justice Initiative, “is a court-created rule that limits victims of police violence and misconduct from holding officers accountable when they violate a person’s constitutional rights. The doctrine provides that a police officer cannot be put on trial for unlawful conduct, including the use of excessive or deadly force, unless the person suing proves that: the evidence shows that the conduct was unlawful; and the officers should have known they were violating “clearly established” law, because a prior court case had already deemed similar police actions to be illegal.”
Therein lies the big hurdle when it comes to suing a police officer. The good news is that having the representation and counsel of a police brutality attorney who is well-versed in police brutality case law and can help you prepare a case that will withstand the test of the legal system, can be of tremendous help in these instances.
We understand that if you lost a loved one due to police brutality in Alice, Colorado, you won’t be able to bring them back to life, but by pursuing a police brutality case, you may be able to get some sense of closure and feel as though justice was served. Police brutality attorneys can’t recover your loss. They don’t promise to, but they can certainly help you heal in the only way they know how, providing excellent legal representation when it matters most.