Chicago Attorney Helping Victims of Police Brutality
Police officers are an invaluable asset to society, especially for the citizens of a city like Chicago, where millions of diverse people deserve a safe and secure existence. However, some city police officers do not follow the laws that they have sworn to uphold. In fact, they break laws and harm others when they should be enforcing laws and protecting the people. The result of this frightening trend in police violence and misconduct is the serious injury of our citizens – many of whom never committed a crime to begin with.
Police brutality has occurred throughout the United States, including Chicago. Whether or not you are guilty of a crime, you deserve to be treated humanely by police throughout your interactions with them – both before, during, and after a possible arrest. If you have been injured by a police officer engaging in misconduct, you may deserve compensation for your injuries, which may include:
- Hospital bills
- Lost wages
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
In cases where law officers abuse their power, a Chicago police brutality lawyer can help you receive full compensation for any pain and injustice you have experienced. Do not let your embarrassment or fear stop you from learning your rights as a citizen and securing the justice you deserve. If you think that you or someone you love may have been a victim of police brutality, you have rights under section 1983 of the Federal Civil Rights Act. You also have Constitutional rights. If you believe that your rights were violated, you need to make an appointment to speak with a Chicago lawyer who has experience in handling police brutality cases. Call Malman Law today if you believe that your civil rights have been violated. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our experienced attorneys provide free initial consultations that are completely confidential.
Police Brutality Statistics
Just how much of an issue is police brutality? Let’s look at some hard facts about police brutality in the United States:
- In any given year, an estimated 9.5 percent of city police officers will have a misconduct complaint filed against them.
- According to the Washington Post, an average of two fatal police shootings take place in the U.S. every day. African-Americans were three times more likely to be a victim of these shootings than those of other races.
- One in four police officers report that they have seen colleagues harassing a citizen based on their race.
- Over half of all police officers agreed that it is not unusual for an officer to turn a blind eye to improper officer conduct.
- More than 10,000 complaints of police misconduct were filed in Chicago between 2002 and 2004. Only 19 complaints resulted in meaningful discipline for the officer.
Should You Contact a Chicago Police Brutality Lawyer?
Police officers should be held accountable when their actions are unlawful. It doesn’t do our society any good to ignore abusive behavior from law enforcement. Reporting police brutality helps keep our society safer. If you or someone you know has experienced any of the following actions, call Malman Law right away:
- Physical assault by a police officer
- Verbal abuse by a police officer
- Use of excessive physical force by a police officer
- False arrest
- Threats of violence made by a police officer
- Sexual abuse, rape, or assault by a police officer
- Racial profiling
- Discriminatory acts committed by police officers
Police Misconduct and Abuse Should Be Addressed
It takes an extremely brave person to step up and point out the wrongdoing of law enforcement officers. Police misconduct and abuse must be addressed by society, the court system, and other law enforcement officials.
Police brutality isn’t just a matter of severely hurting or killing an individual. Although those things are reprehensible, it’s also about society. When people are subjected to police misconduct, our entire community is affected. We begin to lose trust in the very people that we should be able to turn to in a time of need.
Suing for police brutality isn’t just about compensating the victim, although that’s an incredibly important aspect of the case. This is about holding corrupt police officers responsible for their actions. Police brutality lawsuits are about showing the police that appropriate standards of force must be used and that corruption will not be tolerated.
Now, let’s look at two common methods of police abuse: Excessive force and false arrest, and false imprisonment.
What Is Excessive Use of Force?
To understand excessive force, we must first look at reasonable force. When the police encounter someone who must be subdued, they are only allowed to use reasonable force. Reasonable force is to use only the amount of force that is absolutely necessary and reasonable. Each state has a statute that defines reasonable force.
Excessive force is when too much force is used. Think about the unfortunate case of Rodney King. The use of 41 police officers against one man who was beaten and tased is excessive. An excessive use of force is using more force than necessary to bring any situation to an end.
Although reasonable and excessive force may seem a bit subjective, it comes down to using common sense. Unfortunately, there are police officers who do not have the moral and emotional restraint to avoid the use of excessive force. Unnecessary force is inexcusable. For good reason, authorities have use of force permissions when situations get out of hand. For example, in order to apprehend a dangerous, agitated criminal, a police officer may need to use force in order to protect him or herself, fellow officers, and the public. However, when someone is cooperating with the police, there is no reason for force to be use. In fact, it is against the law.
While the definition of unnecessary or excessive force depends on each individual situation, a few example of possible unnecessary force include:
- Punching and kicking
- Chokeholds and joint locks
- The use of a taser
- The use of pepper spray
- The use of a baton
- Drawing or using firearms
- The use of unreasonable restraints or tight handcuffing
- The use of derogatory or racist verbal attacks
These examples of excessive force can have serious physical and mental consequences. A police brutality attorney in Chicago can prevent officers responsible for excessive force from repeating their behavior, and ensure that you are compensated in full.
What Is False Arrest and False Imprisonment?
The police do not have unlimited power when it comes to detaining or arresting people. There must be reasonable suspicion and probable cause for a police officer to detain or arrest you. When people are falsely arrested or imprisoned, it damages them financially, emotionally, and often physically. If you believe that you were falsely arrested or imprisoned, call Malman Law right away to schedule a free initial consultation.
In order to arrest you, the police must have “probable cause” to do so. Probable cause is another Constitutional requirement, which provides that the police cannot arrest a person unless they have a reasonable basis for believing that they have committed a crime. Like use of excessive force, making an arrest without probable cause is a civil rights violation that can give rise to a claim for compensation under The Civil Rights Act of 1871.
You do not need to be innocent in order to be a victim of police brutality.
Many people mistakenly believe that if they are guilty of a crime, any use of force is reasonable in connection with their arrest. But, this is not the case. If the arresting officers use excessive force – regardless of whether or not you have actually committed a crime – you are a victim of police brutality and you may be entitled to significant financial compensation.
Police brutality is pervasive. While some cases of police brutality make national headlines, the reality is that these high-profile cases represent just a small sampling of the pervasive use of excessive force during police arrests. If you believe you may be a victim of police brutality, you are not alone. In fact, studies have shown that:
- More than one percent of individuals who have contact with the police report the use or threatened use of force.
- Of those who experienced use of force, an astonishing 74 percent felt that the use of force was excessive, and 84 percent believed that the police officers involved acted improperly.
- Only 40 percent of those who experienced the use of force were arrested during the incident.
Research has also shown that males are more likely than females to experience police use of force, and that African Americans are more likely to be victimized than whites and Hispanics. Regardless of your personal circumstances, if you have experienced excessive use of force in an altercation with the police, we encourage you to contact us right away for a free consultation.
Get Immediate Legal Help
There’s a common misconception that police officers are allowed to abuse others and get away with it. This is just not true. Police brutality can and should be addressed. Perpetrators can and should be brought to justice. The only way our society becomes better and safer is when police brutality is reported.
You have legal and Constitutional rights that should not be violated by the police. If you believe that you’ve experienced police brutality, contact Malman Law right away. Don’t wait. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: Call or contact us online today.