Police officers are required to investigate crimes and arrest anyone who does wrong. Officers lawfully use force and strategic methods when they are carrying out their official duties. Even though officers are given a lot of authority due to the complicated nature of their work, they are not allowed to exceed their authority and cross the line by acting unacceptably.
The important question to consider is what is considered illegal for a police officer? Officers can use force to ensure an arrest when the suspect is trying to flee or trying to harm the officers or anyone around them. However, officers are not allowed to violate a person’s constitutional rights. If an officer does not respect a person’s rights, then the officer may have legal action taken against them.
Acts that may be counted as illegal for police officers include:
- Using excessive and unnecessary force
- Intentional false arrest
- False evidence
Anyone who is subjected to an officer’s poor behavior should connect with a police brutality lawyer as soon as possible to discuss their legal options and have their rights protected. It can be very unnerving to face harm or harassment from an officer because of the amount of authority they hold and because they are a symbol of justice. However, a person should make sure they defend their rights, so a clear message is sent across showing all officers that abuse of their authority is not acceptable in any way.
If an officer fails or refuses to carry out their mandatory duties or they exceed their authority in any way, they can be found guilty of misconduct. If a person suffered serious injuries or financial losses due to the harmful behavior of the officer, they may even be able to recover damages for the harm they caused.
Laws that control police misconduct in Minnesota
There are several laws in place that limit the authority of officers and make it harder for officers to step out of their limits. These state and federal police misconduct statutes include Section 609.43 which details the misconduct of a police officer in Minnesota. 18 USC Section 242 discusses civil rights violations as well.
If officers are found guilty of police misconduct and the officer has violated other criminal statutes, they will have to pay the legal penalties for their actions. Officers may face 1 year of imprisonment, and victims can seek restitution. In Minnesota, if a person falsely reports police misconduct, they may be charged with a misdemeanor crime and imprisoned for a year.
Anyone who is harmed by an officer should first speak with a police brutality attorney before taking any further legal steps.