Excessive use of force is a general term for when police beat someone or improperly handle them during an arrest causing injuries or death.
An incident captured on a dashboard camera in Pinellas Park, just west of Tampa, shows a man being beaten by police while he was on the ground.
Pinellas Park beating captured on video
The incident began with some kind of a dispute at a gathering at one of the residences in the area where the victim was told by a neighbor to leave. As the victim is walking to his car to drive away, he is approached by officers and told to put his hands up as they drew their guns. They claim the victim was armed, but it appears that the gun that was later found was in the victim’s car the whole time rather than on his person when they initially made contact with him.
As the victim is on the hood of the car with his hands up, more officers arrived on the scene and quickly pulled him onto the ground. While he is in this spot, several officers started dealing blows to the man who had clearly already been subdued and detained. He appears to be choked and pulled by his hair as multiple officers hit him and gave verbal commands to “stop resisting.”
The Pinellas County Sheriff has opened an investigation into the beating of the 25 year old victim. The head of the department claims they were acting based on information that the suspect was armed and dangerous. They also claimed that they will hold the officers responsible for any wrongdoing, but declined to comment further citing the ongoing investigation and fact that there are other pieces of evidence related to the incident aside from the one dashcam video.
Civil rights and the use of force
Lawsuits that allege excessive use of force are brought under various federal civil rights laws, which claim that government employees cannot illegally their authority to cause harm to a person or deprive them of their rights. Police departments are bound by these laws just like any other member of the local or national government.
In an excessive use of force claim, an injury attorney has to prove that officers went beyond their standard protocols for detaining suspects and securing the area. In situations like the incident recounted above, it is obvious that someone who is already pinned against the hood of a car and in the process of being apprehended by multiple officers is no longer a threat to the safety of anyone nearby.
The damages that are paid out to the victim will be a calculation of things like medical treatment, missed time from work, and any kind of long-term psychological or health problems that occur due to the incident. A police brutality lawyer knows how to argue for the largest amount of economic and non-economic damages related to your case.
Speak to an attorney about the possibility of filing a lawsuit
For help after any altercation with the police, contact Larson Johnson Trial Attorneys. They are available to assist all injured clients in the Tampa area.