Indiana – February 10, 2021

Police officer interaction with communities and individual citizens is under intense scrutiny as encounters have highlighted incidents related to excessive force and prejudice named often, leading to severe physical, emotional, and fatal injury.  Even though the incidence of excessive use of force is relatively low compared to the many police encounters each day in the United States, the margin for police error in judgment must be reduced.  While the debate among front line patrol officers continues as to the use of excessive force, citizen arrests may become more dangerous.  When citizens push back against actions of brutality in the field, they may be met with more aggression and require the services of a criminal defense attorney to explain their side of the encounter.

Indiana “use of force.”

A police officer may use reasonable force when they reasonably believe that it is necessary to complete a lawful arrest. A police officer is justified in using deadly force only if they:

  • Have probable cause to believe deadly force is necessary,
  • Need to prevent the commission of a forcible felony; or
  • Need to complete the arrest of a person who the officer has probable cause to believe poses a threat of serious bodily injury to an officer, or others; and the officer has given a warning to the person against whom the deadly force will be used.

Lawful arrest.

“Lawful” arrest is an important consideration in this allowance of use of force.  If an officer commits misconduct to initiate an arrest, or an encounter and it turns into an incident of personal injury or fatality, those actions must be addressed and officers must be disciplined accordingly.  A victim of excessive force, or police misconduct can also hire a police brutality attorney and initiate a civil, or criminal action, depending upon the offenses named in the claim.

Official  misconduct.

Police officers, as public servants, commit official misconduct when the intentionally commit offenses while performing their outlined duties, if they accept, or solicit property and services as a condition to keep employment, gain financial, or property through information they obtain through their positions, and if they withhold public records and property to successors.  A police brutality attorney can assist victims to identify police misconduct and brutality action, and make formal complaints when warranted.

Report and initiate complaint.

Police misconduct involves the violation of the civil rights of a person and often the violation of both State and Federal laws. While the outcomes of misconduct may not be as serious as excessive force, they are still illegal actions against citizens.  When misguided police officers overstep legal boundaries of their job, it is imperative that a victim file a report as soon as possible to the police force of the offending officer, and/or the U.S. Department of Justice.  Contact the Gary Police Department c/o Brian Evans, Chief, 555 Polk Street, Gary Indiana 46402, or call 219-881-1201 for more information on the processing of a formal complaint. A lawyer will build a case for damages and file it within the proper statute of limitations, based upon the negative police encounter and the harms suffered by a victim of police brutality in Indiana.