Police brutality is more common then most people think. Everyone living in the United States should be aware of what course of action they should pursue in case a police officer does carry out an act of police brutality against them. In nearly all other cases of violence, if a person is hurt by someone they would call the police to file a complaint, but when an officer is the one who caused the harm in the first place a person may begin to highly doubt all other officers and this could stop them from filing their complaint.
All complaints against officers who have committed an act of brutality should be sent to the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice deals with all cases regarding police misconduct, whether the officer is guilty of violating civil enforcement or if they are guilty of violating criminal law. It is the responsibility of the DOJ to investigate these matters thoroughly and therefore they should be contacted as soon as possible after the incident.
A person will need to address their complaint to the Department of Justice according to the type of crime the officer committed, and they should make sure to include the following in their application:
- The victim’s contact information including their name, phone number, and address
- The name of the police officer or police station involved in the act of brutality
- A detailed description of the events that took place including events before and after the act of brutality
- Contact information of any witnesses who were present when the brutality occurred
The victim should make sure to include whether they felt like the act of brutality was due to their race or ethnicity and they should also mention what lead them to believe so. It is important to include a comprehensive description of how the encounter unfolded.
Having an attorney by one’s side while filing the complaint is a good idea. A police brutality lawyer will be able to help a person fill out a proper complaint and have it mailed to the correct address. They can also inform a person of their rights and let them know if their situation entitles them to seek legal action against the officer or any other party involved in the interaction.
When should I file a complaint against an officer?
A person should file a police brutality complaint against an officer when they feel like their rights have been violated by the officer. If the officer has hurt them in any way without a reason, they should not hesitate to contact an attorney and file a complaint with the Department of Justice. It may take some time to get a reply after filing a legal complaint with the DOJ, but it is worth it because the complaint can help a person in their case if matters end up escalating. The DOJ will investigate the case, but they will not represent a person in court, so it is essential that a person takes the time to call a legal professional and inform them of the act of police brutality they endured.