How to Know if a Police Shooting Is Police Brutality

Illinois State Police and local law enforcement officers carry guns with good reason. The officers are trained to use their firearms to protect public safety when other less forceful methods of protecting the public fail. It is never a good thing when an officer needs to use a gun, but it may be a necessary shooting.

Sometimes, however, the opposite is true. The officer’s use of the gun was not necessary, given the circumstances. Instead, the shooting was excessive force on the part of the officer, and it was not reasonably justified given the circumstances. In these cases, the victim or the victim’s survivors may be able to file a police brutality lawsuit against the police.

Was the Shooting Police Brutality?

That is the question that must be answered by the person who was shot or that person’s survivors. To determine whether an officer shooting was police brutality, the following questions must be answered:

  • Did the police officer use more force than was reasonably necessary to control the situation, to protect the public from harm, or to take a suspect into police custody?
  • Did the person who was shot have a weapon?
  • Could the police officer have reasonably believed that the person who was shot had a weapon?
  • Did the police officer feel threatened or reasonably believe that the public’s safety was threatened?
  • Did the police officer use other less forceful means to control the situation, protect the public or take the suspect into custody before the officer used the gun?
  • Did the person who was shot comply with the police officer’s directions?
  • Did the police officer warn the person that the officer was going to shoot the gun?
  • Did the police officer use bodily contact or a non-deadly weapon before using a gun?
  • How many times did the police officer shoot the gun? Was the gun used after the person who was shot was no longer a safety threat and could no longer escape police custody?

If you can prove that the officer used excessive force and caused your injury or caused your loved one’s death, then you can pursue a police brutality lawsuit.

Call a Police Brutality Lawyer for a Free Consultation

Police officers who follow the rules are respected members of our society. They perform essential jobs, and they often have to make tough decisions in confusing or chaotic situations. To prove that a police officer's use of the gun was excessive force, you are going to have to provide compelling evidence and convincing legal arguments to the court.

You don’t have to go up against the police department on your own, however. Instead, you have the right to work with experienced and dedicated Illinois police brutality lawyers who know how to gather the right evidence, conduct complete investigations and protect the rights of people who are hurt by police brutality. We will look at all video footage, talk to witnesses, and analyze other relevant evidence to find out exactly what happened and why it happened.

Even if you were the victim of police brutality, it is difficult to make a fair recovery against a police officer. However, our legal team won’t back down until you make a fair recovery for all of your past and future healthcare expenses, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, physical pain, emotional suffering, and any other damages that you suffer because of the police officer’s wrongful actions. If appropriate, we will also fight for punitive damages if the officer’s conduct was shocking or unusually excessive. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the officer, but the result would be to add to your award of damages.

The lawyers of Hupy and Abraham understand how seriously a police shooting injury impacts your life, and we are here to help you through this difficult time. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation and to learn about our Win or It’s Free Guarantee. We would be happy to meet with you at your home, hospital room, or in our Bloomington, Gurnee, or Rockford Illinois office.

Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham