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Can I report police brutality to the federal government?

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You may be hesitant to report police brutality to the police department that employs the officer who hurt you. You may worry that a fair and accurate investigation won’t be done because the officer’s friends and colleagues will try to protect him.

Federal law protects you—and everyone in the United States—from police misconduct. Accordingly, the United States Department of Justice may be able to investigate your allegations of police brutality even if you were hurt by a local cop or an Illinois State Police Officer.

How to Report Police Brutality to the Department of Justice

The Department of Justice handles both criminal and civil cases. If you believe that the police violated a criminal law then you may file a complaint with the Department of Justice. You should send your complaint in writing to:
 

Criminal Section

Civil Rights Division

U.S. Department of Justice

P.O. Box 66018

Washington, D.C. 20035-6018
 

If you believe that the police violated a civil law such as the Police Misconduct Statute or Title VI of the Civil Rights Act then you can send a written complaint to:
 

Coordination and Review Section

Civil Rights Division

U.S. Department of Justice

P.O. Box 66560

Washington, D.C. 20035-6560
 

Either type of complaint should include basic information about your claim including:

  • Your name and contact information.
  • The name of the officer and law enforcement agency involved in the incident.
  • A detailed description of what happened.
  • Contact information for anyone who may have witnessed what happened.

The Department of Justice May Investigate, But it Will Not Represent You in a Police Brutality Incident

The Department of Justice may advise you of your rights, but it will not act as your lawyer. You do, however, have the right to work with a police brutality attorney to make sure that all of your rights are protected and that you are seeking justice from all the appropriate sources.

We encourage you to contact our experienced Illinois police brutality lawyers if you’ve been hurt or if a loved one has been killed by police brutality. We would be happy to meet with you and to discuss your claim. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, please contact us online or call our office directly at 800.800.5678

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham

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