They may enforce the law, but that doesn’t mean they’re immune to it. All police officers have to abide by certain codes of conduct. They also need to respect the United States Constitution written by our founders. Since police officers are human like the rest of us, they tend to make mistakes and go outside their legal boundaries – forcing the citizens to turn the tables and police them instead.
Wyandotte County’s Story
Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree was forced to address 4 officers who were relieved of their duty following some unfortunate admissions. Three of the officers were involved in a December 2019 hit-and-run – possibly while drunk – that left a woman injured. It took them a year to admit it before they were finally charged with misdemeanor crimes. A fourth officer was charged with hiring a prostitute on the job.
Dupree said, “I think it’s important for the community to know that law enforcement’s job is to protect and to serve and the vast majority of law enforcement takes that seriously. But for those who dare to stain the trust of the community with such acts — it will not be tolerated.”
On one hand, it’s disheartening to know that these things happen, but on the other hand, it’s a relief knowing that the police department addressed it. Ultimately, these police officers were forced to take responsibility for their actions
Your constitutional rights
- The 4th Amendment protects all citizens from unwarranted search or seizure
- The 8th Amendment protects us from unreasonable or unusual force and treatment by law enforcement
- The 14th Amendment protects people already charged or convicted of a crime from cruel or improper treatment
Always remember your constitutional rights.
What is police brutality?
Police brutality can be any violation of constitutional rights, as well as:
- Excessive force
- Wrongful arrest
- Unnecessary use of weapons
- Humiliating strip searches
- Sexual assault
Legally, police officers operate under what’s called qualified immunity, which grants them certain privileges to act as they please in order to take necessary measures to effectively enforce the law and de-escalate situations.
This means filing a lawsuit against the police can prove difficult unless you have solid evidence that they clearly went beyond their legal use of force beyond any reasonable doubt.
This requires a thorough investigation that gathers:
- Video evidence
- Evidence of injuries, including photos, medical bills, physiotherapy bills, etc.
- A clear timeline of events to aid your case
In some situations, it is possible to file a claim with the police department and potentially reach a peaceful settlement with them outside the court system, but this is considerably rare.
Do you feel like you were mistreated by the police in Kansas?