Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed a law requiring police to record police misconduct incidents into a new database in the summer of 2020, and it just went live.
The aim of the database is to provide law enforcement agencies with a background on would-be police officers before they get hired. Ideally, it can prevent police officers with records of misconduct from disappearing into the system and going to a new jurisdiction to start over. It can also be used to prevent cops from simply retiring before they get terminated as a way to avoid accountability and collect retirement benefits.
“There is real accountability and transparency in the system now because the information will be known by the hiring agencies and they are accountable to the people through the various representatives in their communities,” said Pennsylvanian attorney Josh Shapiro who helped spearhead the initiative.
The new database was partially enacted in response to the death of 18-year old Antwon Rose, who was killed after running from the police at a traffic stop. Rose was accused of shooting someone in a drive-by shooting and was subsequently pulled over for being in the same car used in the crime. Though the officer involved in the shooting was found not guilty, Rose’s family was able to get a settlement of $2 million.
If you feel like you were involved in an incident of police brutality, get in touch with a Pennsylvania police brutality lawyer. The main reason Rose’s family was able to get a settlement out of their situation was that they had an experienced attorney on their side to fight hard for them. Even after the jury found the officer not guilty, Rose’s lawyers were still able to reach an amicable settlement between the family and the police department. Reach out to your attorney today to begin to legal process.
What laws protect me from police brutality?
In general, the United States Constitution is the main thing cited in most police brutality lawsuits. The Fifth Amendment and 14th Amendment grant us the right to not have our lives, freedom, or property confiscated without due process. These Amendments apply in cases of wrongful arrest, racial profiling, false imprisonment, warrantless home searches, and more. The Eighth Amendment is what protects us from excessive force. In the Amendment’s own words, citizens have a right to be free of “cruel and unusual punishment, and excessive fines.”
With the help of an experienced Pennsylvanian police brutality lawyer, you can argue that your Constitutional rights were violated, and seek the justice you’re entitled to.
Do you need a lawyer to help with your police brutality incident?
Don’t try to deal with it on your own. Connect with a nearby police brutality lawyer in Pennsylvania today to explore your legal options.