There were only 23 days of the 2018 year where police did not kill someone in the United States, meaning that citizens died at the hands of police on the other 342 days. That is a worrisome and dark statistic by any measure. Excessive force caused many of these deaths and something needs to change to reduce the violence from the men and women who take an oath to protect and serve their communities.
Cleveland Police Department excessive use of force.
Cleveland Police Officer’s use of excessive force caused the death of a mentally ill woman in front of her family in 2014, with that family bringing formal suit against the police department in 2015. This has not been the only newsworthy blemish on the face of the police department that had complaints piling up causing interest by the United States Department of Justice to cite them on delays in “use of force” reform. According to the review, excessive force policy training was scheduled to start in 2017 within the Cleveland Police Department, which seemed like a long time considering the tragic circumstances so widely publicized in the three years from the time when Tanesha Anderson lost her life. The conclusion is that if officers are trained on the importance of reasonable force, especially in lieu of the fact that a victim may have an underlying mental problem exacerbating an encounter, there could be a more successful outcome and reductions in police brutality and loss of life. However, the broad-based authority given to police to use force while apprehending criminals, is based on policy that dictates what is considered “reasonable” force in any given situation and is often subjective to the specific encounter when force is used. The use of excessive force is a violation of civil rights laws that are in place to protect citizens against arbitrary and negative action that deprives them of their liberty and life pursuits without the due processes of the law. In this case the family believed that excessive force was not the only form of police brutality committed by police; they believe racial bias also played a part in how the situation was handled.
Actions against police brutality.
Police brutality is an illegal and actionable offense to be remedied by affected persons, when misguided police officers overstep the boundaries of their “allowed use of force” as defined by individual State and local policy based in part, upon the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Seek advice from an attorney who specializes in police brutality if you think your rights have been violated. Excessive force is not the only violation of police brutality: other actions include false arrest and wrongful imprisonment; wrongful search and seizure activity; sexual harassment; racial and gender discrimination; and general abuse against civilians.
- 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.
Change in policy mandatory.
Cleveland Police Department “Use of Force” polices are being outlined, updated and scrutinized to insure excessive force is a last resort and basic civil rights protections are in place against police violence. These policy reviews are in place to insure common sense when police need to use force, and include:
- Means of de-escalating the situation;
- Not using strangle or choke holds that may result in serious injury or death;
- Intervene if another officer is using excessive force and report to supervisor;
- Restrict shooting at moving vehicles;
- Know what weapons should be used in response to resistance;
- Deadly force should be used only as a last resort;
- Must give verbal warning when possible before shooting a civilian;
- Officers should report each time they have made a threat of force or used it.
Contact legal counsel.
If you identify with any of the listed forms of police brutality, talk to a Civil Rights legal professional who might be able to help you manage your damages. Damages may include hospital/medical expenses; past and future permanent disability payments; emotional distress including depression and anxiety; loss of enjoyment of life; physical pain and suffering; and loss of love and companionship due to a death or serious injury caused by police brutality or excessive use of force.