Although police misconduct and police corruption are generally used interchangeably when referring to unwarranted or illegal behavior displayed by an officer of the law, the two carry somewhat of a different meaning.
Police misconduct is a broad term that is used to describe a police officer’s inappropriate or illegal behavior. For example, if an officer were to violate their department’s policies, a citizen’s rights, or state or federal laws, they are said to be engaging in an act of misconduct. There are numerous forms of police misconduct, some that are more serious in nature than others.
For instance, the following could be classified as acts of police misconduct:
- Applying excessive force
- Sexual assault
- Making a false arrest
- Stealing property from a citizen, suspect, or the department.
- Fabricating evidence that results in a person losing their freedom
- Making a discriminatory arrest
While some officers choose to engage in an act of misconduct single-handedly, others engage in inappropriate acts while around other officers. Now, police officers who are assigned to patrol communities aren’t the only ones who can be accused of committing police misconduct. Other types of law enforcement including correctional officers, jailers, probation officers, prosecutors, judges, and other federal, state, or local law enforcement officials can also commit police misconduct as well.
If an officer of the law deprived you of your rights and you are looking to do something about it, USAttorneys.com can get you connected with a qualified police brutality attorney in your area right away.
What is police corruption?
Police corruption entails an officer abusing their power and position for their personal gain. Because an officer might commit an act of misconduct such as making a false arrest to raise their performance level (i.e. an act that is committed for their own personal gain), police corruption falls under the umbrella of misconduct. Not only might an officer be recognized for being corrupt, but an entire department can also face consequences if it found to be engaging in corrupt behavior.
Some examples of police corruption include:
- Accepting stolen goods
- Selling drugs
When a police officer or department is recognized for corruption, it is typically because there wasn’t an isolated incident that transpired but a pattern of unethical and illegal behavior occurring.
Important: As we briefly mentioned above, the definitions of police misconduct and corruption are very similar and might even overlap. For example, if one or more officers were to plant drugs on innocent individuals during separate occasions to make it seem as though their department is succeeding at fighting crime, the officer’s behavior could be considered an act of misconduct and a form of corruption.
What should a person do after they realize an officer of the law violated their rights?
The best thing you can do is connect with a local police brutality attorney who will give you the opportunity to sit down with him/her and share your encounter. Based on the information you provide, they may decide that you have a solid foundation for filing a police brutality lawsuit. Now, there are many police brutality lawyers to choose from but not all have the experience and skill you are going to need.
If you want to be connected with a police brutality law firm that has a track record of obtaining successful verdicts in their cases, contact USAttorneys.com and let us connect you with a legal expert in your city today.