In 2017, the United States Justice Department found that the Chicago Police Department had a pattern of using excessive or unreasonable force. From 2004 to 2017, Chicago paid out about $600 million in police brutality settlements and legal fees.
Chicago is not alone. Police brutality is a problem throughout the state of Illinois and the country. According to The Washington Post, 81 people were shot and killed by police in Illinois from January 1, 2015, through July 14, 2018. Other people in the state suffered injuries due to police brutality during this time.
Examples of Police Brutality
Police brutality occurs when a police officer uses unnecessary and excessive force given the circumstances of the situation. For example, while it may be reasonable for a police officer to shoot and even to kill a person if that person is actively shooting at police, it may be considered police brutality if the same officer shoots at a person who is clearly unarmed. Other examples of police brutality include:
- Unnecessary violence
- Unnecessary strip searches
- Unnecessary use of tasers or stun guns
- Undue restraint
- False arrest
- Sexual assault
Police officers have important jobs to do. We depend on them to keep us, our loved ones, and our communities safe and we respect the important work that they do. The majority of cops do their jobs well and bring honor to their badges. However, the police officers who abuse their power or use excessive force should be held accountable.
Federal Law Protects Victims of Police Brutality
We live in a country of laws, where our citizens are protected from unnecessary and excessive force by police officers. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects people from unnecessary searches and seizures. Section 1983 of the Federal Civil Rights Act allows people whose constitutional rights have been violated by a police officer acting under the color of law to pursue fair legal recoveries.
What to Do If You’re a Victim of Police Brutality in Illinois
While the law allows you to make a fair recovery if you have been the victim of police brutality, or if your loved one has been killed by police brutality, it is up to you to take the right actions to protect your rights. These actions include:
- Getting medical help. Whether you are in police custody or you are free, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible so that your injuries can be diagnosed, treated, and documented.
- Preserving evidence. Video evidence from surveillance videos, dash-cam videos, or body cameras will be very important to your claim. Additionally, it is important to note anybody else that was present during the incident who may be able to serve as an eyewitness and accurately report what happened.
- Contacting an experienced police brutality lawyer. Police brutality cases are difficult to prove on your own, but an experienced attorney can help you make sure that all of your rights are protected.
How Our Illinois Police Brutality Lawyers Can Help You Make a Fair Recovery
The attorneys of Hupy and Abraham are committed to helping police brutality victims make the just recoveries that they deserve and to holding the responsible police officers accountable so that future incidents of police brutality are discouraged.
This process starts when you contact our firm for a free, no-obligation consultation. We will listen to everything that happened to you and advise you of your rights. If you have a police brutality claim, then we will thoroughly investigate your claim and fight hard for your recovery of past and future medical expenses, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, pain, suffering, and other damages. You won’t owe us any legal fees until your claim has been successfully resolved.
To schedule your free initial meeting, please contact us directly via this website or by phone or text at any time. We would be pleased to meet with you at your home, in your hospital or rehab room, or in our Bloomington, Gurnee, or Rockford office.