A police officer has the right to frisk an individual on the street if they have reasonable suspicion to do so. Reasonable suspicion means that the officer has reason to believe you committed a crime or have the intention to. It could also mean that an officer has a hunch that something just isn’t right. They then can frisk you, or pat you down.
What’s the Difference Between Reasonable Suspicion and Probable Cause?
Reasonable suspicion differs from probable cause although the two are very similar. An officer would have probable cause to question or even arrest you if the facts point in the direction of you being guilty of a crime. For instance, if you are wearing the same clothing that fits the description of someone who just robbed a gas station and you are walking away quickly, an officer could use these facts to obtain probable cause to question you, and possibly even arrest you.
Now, here’s where frisking becomes more than just a pat down. Although officers have the right to do this as their job is to protect, serve, and prevent crime from occurring, officers also need to monitor how much physical force they use when engaging with an individual. For instance, if an officer frisks an individual on the street and feels what might be a small bag of marijuana in their pocket and then proceeds to slam to them to the ground forcibly which results in injury, this now can be considered police brutality.
Police brutality occurs when an officer uses excessive force when attempting to accomplish lawful objectives. If you have experienced this or have a family member who went through a traumatic experience with an officer of the law, you need one of our South Carolina police brutality attorneys representing you.
When is it Considered Excessive Force as Opposed to Simply Using Force?
There are several factors that must be considered in determining whether an officer used an adequate amount of force or if their actions should be classified as excessive. Those factors are presented below:
- The degree of the alleged crime the suspect may or may not be guilty of.
- If the suspect posed as an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or anyone else.
- If the suspect was resisting the officer during an arrest or attempting to escape.
While many of these situations might call for an officer to apply use of force, many abuse their rights and apply much more force than necessary. Many victims of police brutality often suffer from serious injuries and others wind up dead.
Over-Policing and Police Abuse: How Can You Combat it?
There are several things you can do starting with obtaining legal representation from one of our dedicated and reliable police brutality attorneys in South Carolina. If you are the victim of police misconduct, you need someone who is just as familiar with the law as the officers who inflicted the harm upon you. You need someone who is aggressive with their actions and is going to obtain justice for this mistreatment that is a shear sign of police brutality.
We can help you locate a South Carolina police brutality lawyer in your city now with one simple call.