As a general rule, police are only allowed to use force to take suspects into custody if they present a physical threat to the safety of people in the area. Sometimes, police are captured on video clearly violating use of force protocols when they interact with suspects. In situations such as this, victims can be helped by the fact that there is little which can be done to explain away or excuse unnecessary violence.
The Allentown Police came under scrutiny after an incident where they used excessive force on a suspect who allegedly committed an armed robbery earlier.
Robbery suspect kicked in the head
The police chief stated that the incident started when they received a description of a male suspect who had apparently committed an act of armed robbery at a strip club and drove away in a vehicle with three other men. Based on the detailed description of the perpetrator and other information that identified the car, police were able to find the vehicle with all suspects inside shortly afterward.
The police made a traffic stop of the vehicle and began to interact with all of the men. The victim was sitting in the rear left seat of the Ford explorer, and he was ordered to show his hands and exit the car right after the traffic stop. As the officers began to take the man into custody, there is some dispute about his actions that prompted a violent response from officers. His attorney alleges that he peacefully complied with officer requests to be handcuffed and detained, while the police allege that he was uncooperative and appeared to possibly be reaching for a weapon in his waistband area. At some point, the victim was kicked in the head by one of the officers and the others were violently removed from the vehicle, kneed, and pinned to the ground. The officers had also drawn their weapons as the interaction began.
The victim was later treated for injuries to his jaw and remained in the hospital for three days after the incident. The entire incident was clearly captured on the dashboard camera of one of the police vehicles, and it does show an officer delivering a kick to the face of one of the suspects.
What kind of lawsuit will be filed after the incident?
Excessive use of force claims are one of the main ways victims of police violence can try to receive some kind of justice related to their injuries. Keep in mind that these claims exist because police are only supposed to make arrests to take suspects into custody, where the courts can hand down an appropriate punishment. They are generally not allowed to use violence unless it is absolutely necessary to secure an area.
Get help from a lawyer who specializes in lawsuits against the police
If you have been injured by a police officer, the best solution is to retain a lawyer to file a claim on your behalf. Metzger and Kleiner Attorneys at Law can assist you with a police brutality claim in Allentown, Lehigh Valley, or the Philadelphia area.