According to the U.S Department of Justice, suicide is one of the most common causes of death for individuals who are in jail. Suicide is a very big problem for inmates across Greensboro, NC, and that is why police officers have to be extra vigilant when they have a suspect in their custody.
If a person’s family member ends up killing themselves while they are in police custody then there are a few legal claims that the family members can make against the officer through a police brutality lawyer. Specifically, they can claim against gross negligence and also deliberate indifference under the fourteenth amendment.
Gross negligence is basically claiming that the officer was unmindful of the individual who was under their custody and deliberate indifference is basically claiming that the officer purposefully did not respond to help the inmate when they easily had the means and the ability to do so.
In both cases, the claims are that the officer knew the inmate had a risk of killing themselves but they did not take the appropriate steps to prevent them from doing so.
What responsibilities does a police officer have when they have a prisoner in custody?
When officers have an individual in custody then they are responsible for that individual’s physical and mental well-being. If the officer suspects that the individual needs to go to the hospital for emergency treatment or they fear that the individual has a risk of killing themselves then it is their responsibility to make sure that they get the person to the correct facility as soon as possible. At the very least, the officer needs to report the suicidal actions or words which they noticed to authorities who can help them.
If a person feels like an officer knew that their family member was at risk of killing themselves and they still did not take any precautions to protect them then they can make claims of gross negligence and deliberate indifference against the officer.
When should I seek legal help?
If a person feels like a police officer deliberately neglected their family member who was under their custody then they should seek out a lawyer to help them lay the appropriate charges in court. It is important to remember that if the police officer was following protocol and they did not break any rules then they generally cannot be penalized.
However, if the officer did not follow protocol and if the officer purposely neglected the victim who was under their custody then their actions do come under police brutality and they can be charged accordingly. Police officers are responsible for trying to protect every life they can and this rule still holds true even for individuals who have been arrested. If they fail to protect the life of a person then they can be held to account for it by the family members who suffered the permanent loss of their loved one.