Proving an officer of the law mistreated you isn’t going to be easy, but it can be accomplished when you have the right tools and professionals working on your side.
Police officers, given the nature of their work, have a certain level of authority that allows them to do things other individuals would otherwise be punished for. Because officers hold the right to apply force, detain a suspect, and even use deadly force when they believe it is necessary to do so, it can be extremely difficult to prove they have engaged in an act of misconduct. Despite the obstacles you might encounter, you still stand a chance at successfully recognizing an officer of the law for misconduct when you know what you need to prove he/she mistreated you.
Some of the things you will need when attempting to hold an officer liable for their inappropriate or illegal behavior include:
- Photos of your injuries and notes from a physician or hospital visit. It is essential that after being harmed by a police officer, you take photos of your injuries to show where you suffered them and how serious they were. You also will want to obtain a copy of the physician notes as well as a visit summary if you sought out medical treatment following your encounter with the officer. These notes will help prove that you did, in fact, suffer an injury, and they should indicate the extent of them.
- Determine how the officer violated your civil rights. Below we have listed for you some of the Constitutional rights that are often violated by police officers.
- Fourth Amendment. This amendment “safeguards citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures.”
- Fifth Amendment. The Fifth Amendment protects the rights of individuals who have been accused of a crime.It says that “people cannot be tried for a serious federal crime without an indictment or other formal charge being filed against them by a group of citizens known as a grand jury. A grand jury consists of sixteen to twenty-three impartial citizens who review evidence against the accused.”
- Sixth Amendment. This amendmentprovides “due process rights to people who have been accused of crimes. It requires that those accused be told the exact nature of the charges against them, and it guarantees them the right to a trial by a
jury of their peers.”
- Eighth Amendment. The Eighth Amendment“forbids the imposition of excessive fines and protects against cruel and unusual punishment.”
[Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office-District of Minnesota].
If you are able to identify whether an officer violated one of your Constitutional rights listed above or another, that will definitely help your case. If you cannot, then you will want to consult with an experienced police brutality attorney in Longview, Texas who can.
- Write down a detailed description of what transpired between you and the officer. It is recommended that you write down any information you can regarding your encounter with the officer as soon as you are able to while the incident is still fresh in your mind. Be sure to include any information you can about the officer, the names of any witnesses who may have been present along with their phone numbers, and any other pertinent information you can recall. In the event other officers were present when the misconduct occurred be sure to write their names down as well.
- Contact a Longview, TX police brutality attorney. The lawyers at the Cooper Law Firm understand the challenges police brutality victims often face when attempting to hold an officer accountable for their unjust behavior which is why they are here to help you. Simply contact their firm by calling 903-297-0037 and schedule an initial consultation to learn how these attorneys can assist you with your matter. Whether you need help gathering evidence, determining which rights of yours that were violated, or you need help with something else, they are more than qualified to provide you with the legal assistance you are seeking.
You can reach the Cooper Law Firm at:
501 N. Third Street
Longview, TX 75601