Police officers are legally allowed to exercise use of force within reason when required. Particularly violent and resistant suspects often need more restraint, but if more force is used than is necessary, people who are injured may be able to file excessive force lawsuits against police officers. In many cases, victims of excessive force may experience severe injury or even die as a result of their injuries. Civil rights lawyers represent victims of police brutality, making sure their rights are respected and compensation is recovered.
What Qualifies as Excessive Force?
When arresting or detaining a suspect, a police officer must only do what’s necessary to restrain him or her. Officers are not permitted to use any amount of force that isn’t required to subdue suspects, even if their actions are well-intentioned. With the help of civil rights attorneys, people who have sustained injuries from kicks, punches, chokes, taser abuse or other forms of police brutality are able to receive compensation for medical bills, as well as for any additional physical and emotional distress caused by injuries.
Many police officers who use excessive force will try to justify their actions through lying, claiming that suspects attempted to evade capture or physically attacked them. Witnesses present have been able to refute these claims in many cases, however, and certain officers’ history of violence may support victims’ police brutality claims.
Police officers who act unjustly are not automatically exempt from the consequences. Even if your injuries are minor, you should contact a civil rights lawyer if you believe a police officer has violated your rights.