If you feel like you’ve been the victim of police brutality in the state of New York, you may be thinking: “Can I sue a cop in New York for police brutality?” 


The answer is a resounding “yes,” but only if you have a good case. Police have “qualified immunity,” which are certain privileges that allow them to legally use force or violence to handle situations. With these privileges, police will almost always argue that any use of force was justified based on the circumstances of the incident. 


If the police arrest someone, they will justify it by saying that person was committing a crime or was doing something suspicious. If the police shoot someone, they will justify it by saying that person was armed and dangerous. To win a lawsuit against the police, the police’s justifications for violence and force have to be proven wrong. 


If you’ve been the victim of police brutality in New York, you’re going to need a qualified lawyer to tell you whether or not you have a case and pursue the journey through the legal system. 


Are there laws against police brutality? 


The laws against police misconduct were written hundreds of years ago under the United States Constitution. The 4th Amendment protects every citizen from unreasonable search and seizure while the 8th Amendment protects people from cruel and unusual punishment. 


An unreasonable search or seizure may happen as: 


  • A police officer going inside someone’s home without a warrant or probable cause
  • A police officer confiscating someone’s belongings for no reason
  • A police officer arresting someone who was not committing a crime or acting suspiciously in any way
  • A police officer illegally detaining and interrogating someone


Cruel and unusual punishment can include: 


  • Excessive use of a weapon
  • Using weapons when a suspect is already apprehended
  • Allowing a K9 dog to maul a suspect who’s either not a threat, or is no longer a threat after being apprehended
  • Inhumane treatment of someone in a police car, prison, or holding cell. 


Obviously, terms like “unreasonable” and “cruel” are subjective and have to be defined in the court of law. Courts have to be convinced that the actions taken by the police officer were unnecessary based on the circumstances. 


Getting compensation 


Compensation varies considerably depending on the situation and the extent of your injuries or damages. A wrongful arrest or racial profiling may only yield a few thousand dollars in compensation, whereas severe personal injuries or wrongful death can end up being million-dollar settlements. 


Do you need help with a police brutality lawsuit in New York? 


There are time limits on when complaints can be filed, so if you need help with a police brutality lawsuit, don’t waste any time in the legal process; Whether you’re in NYC or White Plains, qualified attorneys are waiting to assist you today.