Sometimes police officers have to use force to protect themselves or the public from harm. The law allows police officers to use reasonable force to arrest a suspect or to protect someone from getting hurt.
Unfortunately, some police officers abuse their power and position. Instead of acting with reasonable force they act with excessive force and hurt a member of the public.
The Use of Excessive Force Is Police Brutality
The difference between reasonable force and excessive force is dependent on the unique circumstances of the situation. When reviewing a police officer’s actions, it is important to consider things such as:
- What a reasonable police officer would have done in the same circumstances.
- Whether the suspect or member of the public was armed.
- Whether the police officer had reason to believe that he, a fellow officer, or a member of the public, was in physical danger.
These factors are considerably more important than any physical harm that is done by the police officer. Imagine, for example, that a police officer used deadly force and a person died as a result. If the officer reasonably believed that the person posed a serious physical threat to the public or the officer, then the officer may have used reasonable force even though the person died because of his actions. If, however, the person did not pose a serious physical threat and the police officer killed the person anyway, then the police officer may have used excessive force.
Examples of Police Brutality
Excessive force may involve a gun or a physical attack, but it doesn’t always. The following may be examples of police brutality:
- Violence or a physical attack
- Strip search
- Use of tasers or stun guns
Whether any one of these things is considered police brutality in a specific situation will depend on the specific circumstances of the situation.
Each Case of Police Brutality Is Unique—it Is Important to Talk to an Experienced Police Brutality Lawyer
Police brutality is against the law. If an officer has used excessive force, humiliated you, or otherwise acted in a way that was out of line given the situation and you have suffered an injury as a result, then you may have a police brutality case.
You can expect that the police department is going to fight back against your allegations of police brutality. Since each police brutality case is highly dependent on the unique facts of the situation that led to an injury, it is important to work with an experienced lawyer who can evaluate your claim and advise you of your legal rights.
Hupy and Abraham has secured the largest police brutality settlement in Wisconsin state history. We understand how to evaluate police brutality claims and how to fight for the rights of our clients.
If you would like to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with us, please contact us online or call our office directly at 800.800.5678. We would be happy to speak with you and to discuss whether you may have been the victim of police brutality.