Two officers from the Honolulu Police Department officers were indicted by federal authorities on April 5th, 2019. The officers allegedly forced a homeless man to place his tongue on a public urinal. They are arrested on two counts of civil rights violations.
Multiple Charges Levied
HPD officers Reginald Ramones and John Rabago are charged with one count of acting under coloring of law to deprive a person of his civil rights and another count of conspiring to deprive the same person of his civil rights, according to the US Department of Justice.
As per the indictment order, on January 28th, 2018 HPD officers Reginald Ramones and John Rabago had deprived a homeless person of his constitutional right to not be subjected to unreasonable seizure by law enforcement offers.
Four HPD Officers Were Under Investigation
Initial reports state that four HPD officers were investigated following the incident that involved forcing a man to lick a urinal at Keeaumoku area public restroom.
The officers were responding to a complaint made to 911 regarding trespassing when they came up against the victim. Later, one of the officers reported the alleged police misconduct which started the investigation.
HPD Chief Susan Ballard, after a week of initial investigation, referred the incident to the FBI. She claimed in a public statement that she was personally appalled at the behavior of the officers who she expected to uphold their sworn rights of treating every member of the public in a fair and appropriate manner.
According to federal authorities the deprivation of rights charge carries a maximum fine of $250,000 and a maximum term of 10 years imprisonment.
Protecting Rights against Police Brutality
Civil rights refer to the guaranteed rights and privileges that cannot be denied or interfered with by another, even law enforcement officials. Police misconduct or brutality at its core foundation is the violation of an individual’s constitutional and civil rights.
Police officers are sworn to duty to protect the rights of all members of the public while enforcing the law. They can be held liable for abusing their power in civil court by experienced police misconduct lawyers.
Few common examples of police brutality include excessive or unnecessary use of force, false arrest, wrongful police shootings, civil rights violations, night stick injuries, inappropriate police dog use, wrongful confessions, illegal search and seizure, and dangerous and unnecessary vehicle chase among others.
Such cases are best handled by police misconduct attorneys since complicated interpretations of the law can easily confuse the facts of a case. It’s crucial to seek counsel as early as possible.