If I am pulled over by the Cocoa Police Department for no legal reason, the car is fine, the tags are current and I was not speeding, how should I react to this encounter? Transparency has become paramount to community trust when it relates to police interaction. In the Cocoa Florida area, there were 41 officer complaints issued in 2018 and one was identified as bias-based in nature and the disposition of that complaint did not require discipline or retraining of the officer in question.
Valid trafffic stop.
Reasons an officer may pull you over include: issuing a warning about a potentially dangerous situation, you have committed a traffic violation, your car might match the description of one used in criminal act, you may be a potential witness to a crime, and the officer may think you need their help and are in some sort of trouble
It is always best to issue a formal complaint to the department if you believe the police action toward you is fueled by racial profiling. Having evidence to support your claim will be important if you expect the department to take decisive action against the officer in question. Gather names and contact information of any eye-witnesses and take photos at the scene or video-tape the incident. If you require medical attention for any injuries sustained, seek medical attention and have a report signed by the physician which will be valuable if you decide to file a legal claim. File a misconduct report with a supervisor or higher authority of law If you are afraid to do so with the Cocoa Police Department, hire an attorney or file a complaint with the Department of Justice.
Careful not to escalate.
Other forms of police brutality can stem from a traffic stop and escalate into:
- Excessive Force – utilizing more physical force than necessary to subdue a criminal causing bodily harm or death.
- False Arrest and Wrongful Imprisonment – unlawful restraint of a person’s freedom of movement by another acting in perceived accordance with the law.
- Wrongful Search and Seizure Activity – protection from “unreasonable searches and seizures” notwithstanding probable cause enabling a search warrant.
- 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.
- Sexual assault – According to the United States Department of Justice, sexual assault is “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of another.” Enforcement of incidents of sexual assault vary by state.
You can be compensated if any federal or state laws regarding police misconduct were violated during your encounter. Compensation will cover damages that pay for medical expenses; disability payments; depression and anxiety; loss of enjoyment of life; pain and suffering; and loss of love and companionship due to a death or serious injury caused by police brutality in any form.
Hire an attorney.
Contact an experienced attorney at the Templeton Law Firm who may be able to assist with your formal complaint and assess damages caused by racially motivated police encounter in Cocoa Florida.
Templeton Law, P.A.
403 Brevard Ave Suite 2
Cocoa, Florida 32922