Duluth, MN – Police officers are put in a difficult situation when they have to deal with suspects who seem violent or unstable. However, they are trained to resolve these kinds of conflicts and request additional help when necessary. In these scenarios, it is possible that there are some suspects or bystanders who have mental health issues. A reality of police work is that people with psychological problems are more likely to be arrested or harmed by officers at the scene. Regardless of the victim’s condition, these actions can result in a lawsuit for police brutality against the department responsible. 

Conflict resolution techniques

In addition to general use of force protocols, some police are also trained in conflict resolution, which seems to work successfully in situations that may result in violence or additional crime. Departments that have implemented such procedures have documented success in defusing hostile environments. 

Many advocates for progressive changes and reform in police departments have argued that these techniques should be more widely utilized. A successful negotiation or conflict resolution can be the difference between everyone at the scene leaving unharmed versus an officer utilizing a weapon and firing shots. 

Situations that can escalate

If someone who has mental health issues has difficulty following or responding to commands from the police, they may utilize violence to take the suspect into custody. Unfortunately, these kinds of heavy handed techniques have resulted in fatalities when someone with mental health issues is involved. Some police have a tendency to use force as a way to gain compliance and submission from suspects, although the suspect may continue to resist or disobey orders when they are incapable of understanding the gravity of the situation. 

Holding the officer and department responsible

After an injury, an attorney for the victim can file a civil lawsuit that attached both the individual officer responsible and their department. This is due to a general principle of tort law that holds employers accountable for the actions of their subordinates who are engaged in normal job duties. This is true for government employees as well.

The attorney can attempt to argue for various kinds of damages. This will include the victim’s medical costs and treatment, any missed time from work and lost wages, along with trauma and emotional pain and suffering caused by the incident. Specific information about damages and monetary amounts can be obtained during an initial meeting at the law firm. 

Police brutality lawyers are available throughout Minnesota

USAttorneys.com makes finding the right lawyer easy. Anyone who needs legal help in the Duluth area can browse the directory by choosing their state and a relevant practice area to get in touch with a local attorney for more information.