Most of us respect the law and the police, and we don’t want to get in their way. After all, average police officers are concerned with keeping us safe and maintaining the order of our American cities. However, police officers are human like the rest of us, and are therefore subject to human error, poor training, and impulsive or emotional mistakes. 


This means that quite often, a police officer will step outside of their legal boundaries and use excessive or unwarranted force against someone they’re in an altercation with. This sometimes results in severe personal injury or even wrongful death. 


If you feel like a police officer used excessive, unnecessary force with you or someone you care about, you may be entitled to compensation. Get in touch with an experienced DC-based police brutality attorney today to start the legal process. 


DC’s laws on police brutality


DC police have an extensive set of codes to follow in their line of duty and can face consequences when these rules are broken. 


Forms of police brutality, sometimes referred to as “police misconduct,” can include, but are by no means limited to: 


  • Excessive force causing injury
  • Unwarranted searches or seizures
  • Wrongful arrests
  • Offensive slurs or verbal assaults during arrest
  • Harming of a child or innocent bystander


DC’s metropolitan police enacted General Order 901-07 to define when force can or cannot be used, and by how much. Necessary force is evaluated on a scale of 1-5, 1 being the arrest of someone who’s completely compliant and non-threatening, and 5 being the arrest of someone dangerous who requires violent force to subdue. 


If the force that an officer uses does not match what is necessary under D.C’s system, then they may be guilty of misconduct. Sometimes determining this is tricky, which emphasizes the need for a good attorney if you find yourself in this situation. 


The legal process of police brutality


In the District of Columbia, whether you’re in Washington or Crestwood, anyone who has been subject to police brutality or misconduct has to file a claim directly with the Metropolitan Police Department. These claims have to be done within 90 days of the incident in order to be accepted. 


The process of filing a claim can lead to multiple routes, including: 


  • A mediation process, whereby the conflict is resolved in a non-litigious way through discussion. 
  • A complaint filed to the Office Of Police Complaints
  • Bringing charges against the officer for various crimes


Were you the victim of police brutality in DC?


If you feel like a police officer used excessive or dangerous force with you during an arrest, you may have grounds for compensation under the law. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with a seasoned D.C police brutality attorney today to explore your legal options and defend your rights.