In some cases of police brutality, juvenile victims feel the full force of a beating from older and stronger police officers. Yet from a legal standpoint, the actions a lawyer can take such as filing a lawsuit against the city or police department on the minor’s behalf are not very different from when an adult victim is involved.
A relevant example is from a police response in Toledo that escalated into a 14 year old being injured while being arrested.
Toledo cops beat a young man in a residential area
The incident happened at a residential community known as the Brand Whitlock Homes in Central Toledo. The victim was apparently in front of a home that was not his own, and told to leave by the officers present. At some point between when the officers first made contact with him and before he could leave, a struggle began. The police report says that the officers were kicked by the young man as he attempted to break away from them, so they needed to use force to detain him. However, the video evidence shows the victim bleeding after some kind of head trauma. Regardless of which story is true, the boy did suffer from a swollen face, split lip, and he also blacked out during the attack.
The boy was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, but the internal affairs report about the officers’ misconduct will also be introduced as evidence at his criminal trial. After the internal affairs investigation, the Toledo Police ultimately concluded that there was not sufficient information to sustain disciplinary action against the officers who injured the boy.
What laws protect juveniles from police misconduct?
There are relevant federal laws that protect individuals from any deprivation of civil rights by a government employee. This includes incidents of violence, discrimination, sexual assault, and other activities. The age of the victim or plaintiff does not have a legal affect on these cases. There may be certain arguments a lawyer can make about how violence is more damaging to the developing psyche of a child, but that is a part of their trial strategy, rather than a different application of law. It is also best for a victim’s parents to get their own lawyer, as the previous story shows that police departments will generally not discipline their own officers for hurting people in most cases. A civil lawsuit is also the only way to be repaid for things such as medical bills, treatment, and medications that may be necessary after an injury.
While the specifics of laws that allow lawyers to make claims against the police for excessive use of force are not different when juveniles are involved, the cases may be more favorable to plaintiffs, as juries do not respond well to stories of police beating children. It does not look or sound good when adult law enforcement professionals need to unleash violence on a minor. This can lead to large settlement agreements in cases where videos or witness testimony is available to provide details about the injuries caused to a juvenile. A skilled police brutality lawyer should have very good odds of winning in cases where minors are hurt.
An Ohio lawyer can help
If your child has been injured because of the actions of a police officer, there are ways to get compensation. An attorney in the Toledo area who specializes in police brutality claims can speak with you about the possibility of filing a lawsuit and taking other actions.