There are some cases of the police overstepping their authority that are truly shocking. Many people have been exposed to videos of violent beatings of defenseless suspects by groups of police officers. A number of fatal shootings of people engaged in minor criminal acts have also been heavily publicized.
In the state of Indiana, an enraged Gary Police Officer essentially started stalking a man who had become intimately involved with his wife. He began taking unauthorized actions against the man while on duty and using public law enforcement resources.
Violent unauthorized traffic stop
The background of the story is not totally known, but a Gary officer found out that another man was involved with his wife, and he then started to man the man’s life very difficult. This feud culminated in the officer making an unauthorized traffic stop, pointing a gun at the victim, and placing him in handcuffs for no other reason than the personal vendetta. The officer then hit the victim multiple times and wrapped a radio cord around his neck before another officer intervened to stop the violence. The lawsuit that was filed in the local federal courts for civil rights violations also alleged that the same officer discharged a firearm at the home where the man was staying two months earlier. Ballistic tests confirmed that the bullet found at the scene matched the officer’s firearm. It is not known if there were more episodes of related violence, as these were the two highlighted in the complaint that was filed.
The city eventually agreed to a settlement of approximately $47,000 with the victim. The officer responsible for creating all of these problems was placed on administrative leave and ultimately fired as the case developed. The initial lawsuit was dismissed as a condition of the agreement and payout, as the city did not want to risk the time and expense associated with the amount of litigation and legal fees that would come with a trial.
Police misconduct happens all the time
While this story sounds extreme, police engage in various kinds of misconduct all the time, often without consequence. The departments generally do not discipline their own officers sufficiently, and local prosecutors usually only file criminal charges when an incident results in a severe injury or death.
The good news is that for any amount of police misconduct, there is always the option to file a lawsuit in federal court for civil rights violations. Victims do have a real chance of receiving a settlement from the relevant department or city, or a verdict from a jury after a trial takes place. The amount of money paid out to those injured by the police will depend on the deviancy of the conduct in question and resulting problems for the victim. For example, a police officer improperly using a firearm to fatally shoot someone will result in a greater amount of damages than someone who is punched and files an excessive use of force claim. Keep in mind that this is just a general guideline. A lawyer will have a better explanation of what to expect along with professional legal advice based on each individual scenario.
Get help after abuse by an out of control cop
If you have been hurt, harassed, stalked, or otherwise harmed by a police officer in Gary Indiana or anywhere nearby, you can contact Marshall P. Whalley & Associates for help. The staff at Whalley & Associates has over 100 years of combined trial experience and has won several multi-million dollar verdicts. They can give you specific advice based on the facts of your personal situation.