Like most states in the country, North Dakota maintains ongoing discussions about police brutality and the legal boundaries of law enforcement. 


North Dakotans had to further examine what exactly police brutality was during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests from 2016 onwards. On November 20, 2017, the protesters filed a class-action lawsuit accusing the police of brutality and excessive force, and unnecessarily using rubber bullets, lead-filled bean bags, teargas grenades, water cannons, and other weapons against peaceful protesters.


The growing conversations around police brutality and the active legislative measures trying to prevent it mean that victims of police misconduct now have options for getting justice. 


If you’ve been the victim of police brutality in North Dakota, get in touch with a top-notch North Dakota police brutality lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation. 


Why is it so hard to sue a cop? 


First of all, the police enjoy something called “qualified immunity,” which allows them to do certain things to uphold the law. In other words, the police can use force or violence if they feel it’s necessary to protect themselves or apprehend a suspect. 


Therefore, the cops will always defend their actions by arguing that they were necessary based on the circumstance. 


Second of all, the police and the state have virtually infinite resources to fight every allegation against them to the very end. This can make police brutality lawsuits expensive and time-consuming for the plaintiff. 


Are there laws against police brutality? 


The United States Constitution has two main amendments that pertain to police misconduct: 


  • The 4th Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure
  • The 8ths Amendment which protects against cruel or unusual punishment


There are many grey areas when defining what is “unreasonable” or “cruel,’ so this is what has to be argued in court. For example, having severe injuries from the police hitting you with a baton probably won’t be considered as “police brutality” if there is video evidence of you trying to hit the officer with a baseball bat. 


This is where so many police brutality lawsuits fail. The communities are outraged that one of their own died needlessly at the hands of the police, but the police are able to argue that the person either had a weapon or somehow a threat to their safety. 


Clear violations of Constitutional rights can include: 


  • Being detained without committing a crime or doing anything suspicious
  • Being tased or hit with a weapon for no reason 
  • Being mauled by a K9 when you’re already apprehended and not a threat
  • Having the police invade your home without a warrant or probable cause
  • Having your belongings confiscated without consent or committing a crime
  • Being coerced into a false confession


If you need help with a police brutality lawsuit, don’t waste any more time. Qualified attorneys in Bismarck, Fargo, and beyond are waiting to help you.