Pennsylvania – February 18, 2021

Pennsylvania has one of the largest statewide police forces and they will be shielded from legislative inquiry and scrutiny during a time when police protests and actions of law enforcement have proven that misconduct and brutality exists on a large scale in the state, specific to black and brown communities.  Traffic stop racial data was only recently re-instituted after Spotlight PA revealed that Pennsylvania State Police had stopped this practice.  The department is being sued for alleged bias-based profiling of Latino drivers.  The Office of Inspector General is looking into allegations that troopers were using minor traffic stops to search drivers illegally.  When individuals feel they are being victimized by Pennsylvania police officers, they should contact a police brutality attorney to guide them through the process of damage recovery for personal harms.

Traffic stops.

Traffic stops often involve bias-based policing, 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.  Racial profiling hinders effective police presence in Philadelphia communities because it destroys trust and respect.  Victims of bias-based profiling should contact a police brutality attorney to see if they have a case for damages if they have been recently stopped, detained, or had an encounter escalate to the use of force, or other negative police behaviors.

Behaviors for victims of misconduct.

 Victims who have been illegally detained by a Pennsylvania State Police should not escalate the situation by counter aggression. If they do and the encounter takes on criminal charges, they should contact criminal defense attorneys for assistance.  Eye-witnesses are important, try to collect names and contact information.  Take photos at the scene, or video-tape the encounter if possible.  Get medical attention to assess injuries and collect a formal report by a physician to support a case in a court of law. Victims should file a misconduct report with a supervisor, or higher authority of law, if they are afraid to do so with the State Police Department, and  hire an attorney  who can file a complaint with the Department of Justice, and initiate a civil, or criminal suit when appropriate.

There are experienced attorneys who can help police brutality victims in Pennsylvania by:

  • Filing a formal department complaint,
  • Researching and applying current laws,
  • Filing civil or criminal lawsuits in court
  • Hiring a legal support team,
  • Preparing the court appearance,
  • Representing victims in court, and
  • Effectively mediating for a fair settlement.

Hire a lawyer.

 When individuals, or someone they love are victimized by any form of police brutality, they should consult with a legal professional in Pennsylvania who understands civil rights and the negative impacts of police brutality on citizens of Pennsylvania.

 

Sources:

https://www.gettysburgtimes.com/news/spotlight_pa/article_9f0e1241-ef0f-58a9-91ab-91bae8b304eb.html

https://www.spotlightpa.org/news/2021/01/pa-state-police-traffic-stops-racial-profiling-data-collection/