In the age of information, awareness of police brutality and misconduct is stronger than ever. On one hand, some of the publicized incidents we’ve seen have been upsetting, but on the other hand, progress has been made to help keep those things at bay in the future. 


Much of the media chooses to focus on police killings of unarmed men, but you don’t have to be killed to be the victim of police brutality. Police brutality can happen in many different ways. 


The wrongful arrest of Tre’Sur Johnson 


Here on Rhode Island, a 13-year-old girl named Tre’Sur got in a schoolyard scuffle with another classmate. Other students broke up the scuffle and neither girl involved was hurt in any way. In what should’ve been a routine disciplinary process within the school where the students just apologized to each other, maybe shook hands, and went back to class. Things went a bit differently. 


An SRO decided to arrest the 13-year-old for “disorderly conduct” against the will of her mother who had arrived following the conflict between the two girls. Tre’Sur was left handcuffed in a cell for close to an hour. 


The ACLU filed a lawsuit against the school arguing that the victim’s constitutional rights had been violated and also accuses the school of racial discrimination. Despite being only 14% of the students at Tre’Sur’s school, black students made up over half of the students who were suspended during the year. The suit points this out as evidence of racial discrimination.


Are there laws against police brutality? 


Under the United States Constitution, everyone is protected from police brutality. The 4th Amendment prohibits unreasonable search and seizure, while the 8th Amendment prohibits cruel or unusual punishment. 


Obviously, these Amendments are subjective depending on the circumstance. For example, arresting someone may not be considered “unreasonable” by the courts if the suspect was on drugs and openly brandishing a weapon. 


The police will always defend their actions by justifying them based on the circumstances, and it’s up to you and your lawyer to be able to delegitimize their arguments in court. This is one of the many reasons why a seasoned lawyer is so important in police brutality lawsuits. 


Is it hard to sue a cop in Rhode Island? 


The sheer amount of time and resources the police department and government have at their disposal means beating them in court can be very challenging. Anyone who wants to win compensation in a police brutality lawsuit should make sure they have a lot of documented evidence, and most importantly, a qualified Rhode Island police brutality lawyer.


Do you need help with a police brutality lawsuit? 


If you were the victim of police misconduct, you could be entitled to compensation. Experienced lawyers from Charlestown to Colvintown are waiting to assist you today. Don’t hesitate to get in touch.