A police department’s reputation and positive interaction within a community can be tarnished by one act of police brutality or misconduct by a misguided officer. Police misconduct may occur with the smallest deviation from ethical department procedure and those actions can adversely affect another person’s freedoms and livelihood. Civil rights must be considered when actions of police brutality have occurred. Police misconduct may lead to wrongful criminal convictions if officers do not act in accordance with department policies and try to negotiate plea deals, or impact criminal proceedings. Law enforcement officials who break laws can be reprimanded and put on probation while continuing to work with oversight, and officers who have broken the law can be sentenced to life imprisonment if the charges are that grave, as reflected by the conviction of Michael Harding, a former Port St. Lucie Police officer.
Harms of common police brutality.
Police misconduct/brutality occurs when officers violate their prescribed duties in accordance with law enforcement training and act alternately to cause harm through:
1) excessive force – utilizing more physical force than necessary to subdue a criminal causing bodily harm or death;
2) false arrest and wrongful imprisonment – unlawful restraint of a person’s freedom of movement, and can result from police providing false information in a police report, offering false evidence, mishandling evidence or lying in court;
3) wrongful search and seizure activity including unreasonable searches relating to gathered evidence, can cause an overturned conviction if it is found that the evidence was the basis for charges and the mishandling caused conviction for those charges imposed on a victim by misguided police activities;
4) sexual harassment which includes actions from mild transgressions to sexual abuse or sexual assault;
5) 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; and
6) general abuse against civilians.
Make a complaint.
You can make a complaint against a law enforcement officer in Port St. Lucie Florida by contacting the department through a call, a visit or a letter, and supplying them with facts regarding the negative encounter. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint, you can file a civil suit against the officer and the department.
Seek legal counsel.
If you suspect you have been a victim of any type of police misconduct in Port St. Lucie Florida, contact an experienced lawyer who understands how to navigate state and local laws that safeguard your individual rights under the United States Constitution. The Law Office of David G. Simmons will review your case against any deviations from state and federal law, and department policy. You may be able to seek compensation for injuries to your person or reputation, medical bills and pain and suffering resulting from the police misconduct.
Law Offices of David G. Simmons
10380 SW VILLAGE CENTER DRIVE
PMB # 144
PORT SAINT LUCIE, FL 34987
Email: [email protected]