Historical investigations and continued oversight have shown that Columbus Ohio law enforcement have been involved in police brutality through many of its forms, and over a long period of time. The federal government has undertaken more investigations of misconduct per capita in Ohio than any other state with allegations of false arrest, illegal search and seizure, excessive force, false reporting and falsely charging citizens along with segregating, hazing and discriminating against black officers. The most recent Department of Justice formal inquiry launched in 2016 found the City of Columbus continued its negative practices by officers that deprived Columbus residents of their rights, privileges, and immunity protected by the United States Constitution, specifically the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, and the laws of the United States in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 14141.
The Narcotics and Vice Squads have been at the center of complaints and unethical acts, without fear of disciplinary action in Ohio, through their actions involving sex workers and drug dealers. “Officer Andrew Mitchell, a 30-year veteran with the Police Division, was identified as the undercover vice detective who shot and killed Donna Castleberry, 23, of Merion Village, following an incident in Mitchell’s unmarked police vehicle while it was parked in Franklinton” “Unethical police officers, such as Detective Andrew Mitchell, are in violation of federal law when they disregard the rights of citizens for their own gain.
Federal laws addressing police misconduct include criminal and civil statutes to cover officers’ action in State, county and local jurisdictions including prisons and jails. The laws are to protect all people in the United States whether they are citizens or not. Police brutality is an illegal and actionable offense to be remedied in the interest of those who have been negatively-affected by improper police action, due to misguided police officers overstepping legal boundaries of their “allowed use of force” as defined by individual state and local policy based in part, upon the Fourth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Complaints of Police Brutality.
- 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.
Seek Legal Counsel When the Elements Necessary for a Malicious Prosecution Claim are Present.
It is imperative to seek out legal advice from a civil rights lawyer and their professional assistance, if you believe you are a victim of any type of police brutality, specifically for malicious prosecution. In order to proceed with a claim of malicious prosecution against law enforcement, the victim of the offense must show that the Fourteenth Amendment rights have been violated by: 1) a police officer commenced a criminal proceeding against the victim; 2) the proceeding was commenced with malice toward the victim; 3) the proceeding ruled in favor of the victim; and 4) there was no probable cause for the court action.
Note: if the arresting police officer can prove that he had probably cause, the malicious prosecution claim will be denied.
This type of police brutality has lasting effects and takes an enormous emotional, physical and fiscal toll on an individual and their family. Even when a victim does not receive a conviction out the false prosecution and court action, the negative affects to their livelihood have occurred and needs to be remedied through punitive and compensatory damages to make up for lost wages, medical bills associated with stress-related illness and mental health support, other costs related to the upsetting of the domicile, and pain and suffering resulting from the defamation the case may have caused in the community. Legal fees should also be addressed in the settlement of a malicious prosecution case.