The growing awareness of police brutality marks one of the great epochs of our time. Instead of feeling helpless when the police overstep their bounds, communities are deciding to take measures to hold law enforcement accountable. 


The state of Montana has been no exception. Following the death of George Floyd, activists in Montana made their voices heard, calling upon police departments in their state to make some sort of change. 


In particular, special attention went towards the Billings Police Department, which was responsible for roughly a third of all of Montana’s police shootings since 2015. It’s also worth noting that every single one of the shootings was determined to be justified by the courts. 


In defense of the shootings, BPD spokesman Brandon Wooley said they could be explained by Billings’ disproportionate amount of methamphetamines users who caused conflicts with the police department.


The fog of bureaucracy and the power of the state often makes it difficult to determine whether or not police killings are ever justified. If you believe you were mistreated by the police, know that you may be entitled to compensation. Don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Montana police brutality attorney to see if you have a case. 


Why is it so hard to sue a cop?


Law enforcement officials are granted “qualified immunity,” which means they can do certain things that regular citizens can’t in order to effectively do their job. In short, the police are allowed to be violent if it’s necessary to apprehend a suspect. 


Under the United States Constitution, everybody is protected from unreasonable search and seizure and cruel/unusual punishments. The problem, however, is that these terms can be wildly subjective depending on the circumstance, making it very easy for the police to justify their actions if there isn’t concrete evidence incriminating them. 


Additionally, the government has infinitely more time and resources to fight lawsuits than private citizens, so every lawsuit against a cop will be a major challenge. Some might even say that winning a case against a cop is impossible without the right legal team backing you. 


Getting compensation from the police department 


Compensation can be in the thousands or the millions, depending on the case. If someone who is completely innocent and never did anything suspicious gets seriously injured by a police officer, they may be entitled to substantial amounts of money if their injuries are life-altering. Something as simple as wrongful arrest can lead to thousands of dollars in compensation, and something as severe as wrongful death can lead to millions in compensation.


Were you the victim of police brutality in Montana? 


If you believe you were the victim of police misconduct, don’t waste time. Get in touch with an experienced, Montana-based police brutality lawyer as soon as possible. From Billings to Whitefish, attorneys are ready to help you achieve a favorable legal outcome.