There are many kinds of police misconduct, and sometimes officers can get violent with suspects even when they do not have a legitimate reason to detain or arrest them.
One of the largest settlements related to police misconduct in the history of the city of Gary Indiana involved an intrusion into a home that resulted in multiple suspects being severely beaten.
Police invade victim’s home and assault multiple occupants
Three officers entered the home where the victims were living and accused them of committing a burglary on the police chief’s home. The chief was one of the three officers present who broke in. He ended up choking and punching one of the male victims and hitting one of the female victims who was pregnant in the stomach, causing her to spit up blood. The four victims were all falsely arrested and detained at the police station afterwards. None of them were given any medical attention.
The police chief was convicted of criminal charges and given a 41 month sentence related to his actions that night. He ended up dying of cancer about a year after being sentenced. The other two officers were charged but ultimately acquitted.
The final settlement totaled $170,000 for illegal searches, assaults, and detentions. The judgment was to be split between all four of the plaintiffs.
Even though the case was settled for a fairly large amount, the city released a statement that this was done as a cost saving measure related to trial costs and legal fees rather than an admission of guilt related to the officer’s actions. They described the officers as “outstanding” and “dedicated” despite their involvement in this incident.
Criminal versus civil cases
This incident resulted in both criminal charges and a civil lawsuit against the officers involved. Even though one of the perpetrators was convicted in the criminal courts and the other two never served any time for their actions, a civil lawsuit can still be filed related to the same events regardless of the outcomes of the criminal cases. Criminal convictions against police officers are actually quite rare, and it is usually more beneficial to file a civil lawsuit due to its greater probability of success and the potential for victims to receive large amounts of compensation. Civil cases also have a lower burden of proof than criminal cases.
Excessive use of force cases
Most civil lawsuits against the police are as brought excessive use of force cases. This means that the officers involved deprived the victims of their civil rights by using violence and a great deal of physical force to make an arrest. A case such as this one is even more shocking because it seems that there may have never even been an actual reason to detain the victims. Relevant federal laws say any government actor, including a police officer, cannot use their authority to infringe up the civil rights of any citizen.
Talk to a police brutality lawyer to get help
If you have been mistreated by the police in the Gary area or anywhere nearby in the state of Indiana, there is help available. Marshall P. Whalley and Associates are available to get you the results and compensation you deserve.