When a person is abused by an officer they should firstly, make sure they do not physically fight back with the officer and they should also make sure they remain calm. Making sudden movement, even if it is just to reach for one’s ID, should be avoided at all costs. A person should be very clear when speaking with the officers, no matter how the officer is treating them they should try to respond with as much respect as possible.
There are many different forms of police misconduct, the most common amongst them are:
- Excessive force
- Abuse of process
- False arrest
- Failure to intervene
- Falsifying evidence
- False imprisonment
- Sexual harassment
- Malicious prosecution
What are my rights when an officer is confronting me?
Police officers are expected to follow protocol when conducting an arrest. If they fail to do so, they can be held accountable for police misconduct. Police agencies in New Jersey are expected to respect the constitutional rights of every individual they confront and arrest. They are not allowed to use force unless they feel it is necessary to help them with the arrest. Therefore, it is so important for a person not to resist arrest if they are being confronted by police officers. Any form of resistance is threatening and gives the officers permission to use excessive force and harm the suspect without legal penalties.
Since officers hold a certain degree of immunity with the law, a person must collect enough proof to show that the police officer was acting in an abusive manner. They should be able to prove the officer conducted the brutality willingly and without any reasonable basis for their violent behavior. If a person can provide the evidence, the police officer will be forced to face serious legal penalties, and if the allegations were very intense, they may even be forced to drop out of the police force.
A person should remember to make their claim within 90 days of the interaction with the police officer because according to the New Jersey Tort Claim Act, any allegations made against a police officer after 90 days of the initial encounter will not be taken seriously by the court.
Anyone who is confronted wrongly by an officer should call a police brutality lawyer to discuss their situation and to see what legal avenues are available for them to safely file a complaint against the officer to get the justice they deserve. It can be intimidating to file a legal complaint against someone who holds as much power as a police officer, but with the correct legal support, it can be a relatively smooth process with rewarding results.