Most police officers are good people who are doing their best at difficult jobs. However, some police officers abuse their power and use unnecessary and excessive force against the public. These officers must be stopped. They cause individuals to suffer serious physical injuries, they erode public trust in the police, and they damage the morale and reputation of their fellow officers.
Hupy and Abraham is committed to holding officers who commit police brutality accountable. Our firm represented an injured police brutality victim and recovered the largest police brutality settlement in Wisconsin history. By using all of the evidence available to us and by not settling until a fair agreement had been reached, we recovered $3 million for our client who became a quadriplegic at the hands of a Milwaukee police officer.
Unfortunately, our client is not alone. According to The Washington Post, 59 people died in Wisconsin police shootings between January 1, 2015, and July 1, 2018. Many other people were injured by other forms of police brutality throughout the state during the same time period.
What Is Police Brutality?
There are situations when police officers must use force to protect themselves or the public. However, when a police officer uses excessive force, or force that is beyond what is necessary given the situation, then the police officer may have committed police brutality and may be held accountable for any injuries that occur.
Some examples of police brutality include:
- Unnecessary violence
- Unnecessary strip searches
- Unnecessary use of Tasers or stun guns
- Unnecessary shootings
- Undue restraint
- False arrest
- Sexual assault
Any of these situations—or any other type of police brutality—can result in life-changing or fatal injuries.
Serious Injuries Caused by Police Brutality
The specific injuries suffered by a police brutality victim depend on the type of excessive force that was used by the police officer, federal agent, prison guard, correction officer, or other type of law enforcement official. Some of the significant injuries that can occur include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
If you have suffered a life-changing injury or your loved one has died at the hands of the police then it is important to know what you can do next to protect your legal and financial rights.
Important Evidence in Wisconsin Police Brutality Cases
Police brutality cases are difficult without the right evidence. In the absence of evidence, it is often the word of a possible criminal or an innocent member of the public against the word of a respected police officer in uniform.
However, with the right evidence, even a police officer can be held accountable for breaking the law. This evidence includes:
- Videos. Dash-cam videos, body camera videos, videos from the police station, or prison surveillance can be extremely important in police brutality cases.
- Witness testimony. If other people saw what happened then their testimony could be critical to your case.
It is important to take steps to preserve videos and to be able to locate witnesses so that you have the evidence that you need to support your claim.
Federal Law Protects Victims of Police Brutality
The Constitution and Section 1983 of the Federal Civil Rights Act ( 42 U.S.C. § 1983) protect the public from police brutality. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution gives people the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures, and Section 1983 protects United States citizens from being deprived of their constitutional rights by the government—including the police.
In order to bring a successful claim pursuant to this law, you must prove:
- The police deprived you of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States.
- The police deprived you of this right while acting under color of law. This means that the officer was acting on behalf of the government or in his official role as a police officer at the time of the incident.
You don’t have to make your case alone, however. Instead, you have the right to hire an attorney to represent your interests and to use the available evidence to persuade the government or the court that you deserve a fair recovery.
Talk to the Law Firm With the Largest Police Brutality Settlement in Wisconsin History If You’ve Been Injured by the Police
Police brutality cases are important. Not only are you standing up for your rights and fighting for the fair recovery that you deserve—but you are also helping to discourage future incidents of police brutality.
Our experienced Wisconsin police brutality lawyers want to talk to you if you have been hurt by an officer’s use of excessive force. We will review your claim, for free, and advise you of your rights. If you have a claim and you decide to hire us then you will not owe us any legal fees until your claim has been resolved. Call, text, or email us today to learn more or to schedule your free consultation.