When a problem arises where a citizen feels unsafe or in jeopardy in Miami, they should be able to reach out for assistance from law enforcement officers. Tragically, people are in fear and speaking about the dangers of calling police to a scene, as escalations during encounters often ensue causing more problems to both the person seeking assistance and others. Even after a settlement with the DOJ in 2016, negative encounters continued such as unethical actions of Miami police officers similar to that of Officer Figueroa last year when he pretended to kick an already subdued criminal in the head. The Department of Justice settlement in 2016 outlined approved actions for the police department to weave into policy to minimize officer-involved shootings and to more effectively and quickly investigate officer-involved shootings that do occur, through measures of:
- enhanced supervision of first-line officers;
- enhanced training, including de-escalation training;
- improvements to internal investigations of officer-involved shootings;
- a more stringent mechanism under which a shooting officer’s return to work is authorized; and
- a mechanism to ensure community participation in the monitoring process.
Training to reduce excessive force and officer-involved shootings.
De-escalation training is a successful method to talk a criminal back from acting in a manner to endanger themselves or those people around them, The training involves speaking patterns and physical movements to reduce aggressive behaviors and control the overall encounter, giving police more time to safely react and subdue an alleged law breaker, without excessive force.
The use of excessive force is a violation of civil rights laws that are in place to protect citizens against arbitrary and negative action from law enforcement officers. Excessive force refers to force in excess of what a police officer reasonably believes is necessary. A police officer may be held liable for using excessive force in an arrest, an investigatory stop, or other seizures. A police officer may also be liable for not preventing another police officer from using excessive force.
Officers must follow the justifiable “use of force” guidelines. The 2018 Florida Statutes Chapter 776 outlines the law on “Justifiable Use of Force” as it pertains to Police Officer activity in Section 776.05 whereby an officer is justified in the use of any force: 1) which he or she reasonably believes to be necessary to defend himself or herself or another from bodily harm while making the arrest; 2) when necessarily committed in retaking felons who have escaped; or 3) when necessarily committed in arresting felons fleeing from justice.
Seek legal counsel.
If you are concerned that you have been victimized by Miami Police or have been traumatized by actions of excessive force during an arrest, you should call the Law Offices of Orlando R. Murillo for a consultation to see if you have a claim for damages that include hospital/medical expenses; disability payments; emotional distress; loss of enjoyment of life; physical pain and suffering; and loss of love and companionship due to a death or serious injury caused by police brutality through excessive force.
Orlando R Murillo P.A.
7350 SW 89th Street, Toscano Building
Miami, Florida 33156