Widespread concern for police brutality.
Police misconduct is a national problem between the men and women in blue and alleged law breakers, who often end up victims during law enforcement encounters. Ill-fated encounters lead to patterns of excessive force causing physical harm and/or death, sexual assaults, unlawful searches and false arrest and may result from bias-based profiling, the intentional practice by an officer who incorporates prejudicial judgments based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, religious beliefs, and age.
Police, under color of law, are allowed to use their authoritative powers to apprehend criminals, but sometimes the aggressive or biased actions escalate an incident into an egregious life-damaging event for the victim and/or their families. Community distrust has led to a disconnect between police officers and the people they are sworn to serve and protect.
Middletown police address disconnect.
The Middleton New York Police Department is addressing public mistrust through 1. creating new partnerships and strengthening existing relationships with influential community members, including local clergy and media; 2. utilizing social media for a “give and take” platform, creating a dialogue between the department and the community and 3. transparency by allowing access to records of police arrest encounters through public information portals.
Foot patrols through residential neighborhoods in the city have been re-instituted as part of the focus on building stronger relationships with the community. This gives residents an opportunity to get to know the uniformed police officers as the patrol the neighborhoods and to discuss community issues and other concerns personally, making the department more effective in addressing needs and concerns community-wide.
De-escalation training effective to reduce excessive force.
Departments in the State of New York are not required to have de-escalation training but are required to undergo annual instruction in deadly physical force and the use of firearms and other weapons. The Department of Justice defines “de-escalation” as “the strategic slowing down of an incident in a manner that allows officers more time, distance, space and tactical flexibility during dynamic situations on the street.” These training methods for police officers are valuable and address components such as:
- Listen respectfully.
- Crowd control.
- Courteous example.
- Body language reducing intimidation.
- Control offensive talking or action during encounter.
- Don’t publicly humiliate anyone and be respectful.
- Don’t waste time and energy trying to convince a citizen that he’s wrong and you’re right.
- Remember that “broken record” is a useful way to achieve two goals—conveying the message that you’re in charge while keeping the lid on a potential conflict.
Legal recourse for damage claims.
There are various federal and state laws including the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, Title 6 Civil Rights Act, Title 42 United States Code, and the ADA, that insure remedy to individuals who have suffered the negative effects of police brutality. If you feel you have been a victim of excessive force by a police officer in Middletown New York, you should immediately contact a lawyer to review your case. Damages may include hospital/medical expenses; past and future permanent disability payments; emotional distress including depression and anxiety; loss of enjoyment of life; physical pain and suffering; and loss of love and companionship due to a death or serious injury caused by police brutality through excessive force. Call the law offices of Isseks & Smith if you have been injured due to police misconduct and want to discuss your potential case for damages against illegal police brutality actions in Middletown New York.
Isseks and Smith
Attorneys at Law
6 North Street
Middletown, NY 10940