Criminal Defense - Police Misconduct
Penrod | Swenson focuses on representing individuals who have been victims of gross abuses by the people we trust to protect us.
Within our system of jurisprudence, one of the broadest practice areas is Civil Rights, which focuses on individual civil liberties. These personal, natural rights, guaranteed and protected by the U.S. Constitution, include freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom from unlawful discrimination. These rights are restraints on the government itself. Following the Civil War, and more recently in 1957 and 1964, federal laws were enacted to give further force to the basic personal rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Most states have also enacted statutes that seek to protect civil liberties and the fundamental rights of an individual. Penrod | Swenson has a history of success representing individuals injured by police and other law enforcement offices. Civil Rights deserve protection from overzealous government officials. Victims deserve full and fair compensation. Call Penrod | Swenson today.
Are You A Victim Of Police Brutality?
Police brutality is using excessive or unnecessary force by police officers when interacting with civilians. This can take the form of physical force, verbal abuse, or even psychological intimidation.
While police are sworn to protect and serve the public, many instances have been of violating this trust. In some cases, victims of police brutality have suffered life-changing injuries or even death.
There are various ways that someone may be a victim of police brutality. Some common examples include:
- Being physically assaulted by a police officer without justification
- Being verbally abused or threatened by a police officer
- Having property damage caused by a police officer
- Being arrested without probable cause
What Are Some Common Examples Of Excessive Force?
Excessive force is any force used by a police officer that is greater than the amount of force necessary to accomplish a legitimate law enforcement purpose. In most cases, excessive force is used when an officer uses physical force to subdue a Suspect who poses no threat of serious bodily harm or death to the officer or others.
While excessive force is sometimes unavoidable, it often occurs when an officer is poorly trained, improperly supervised, or acts with malice or bad intent. When this happens, the victim of police brutality may have a claim for damages against the officer and the department they work for.
Some common examples of excessive force include:
- Physical beatings
- Tasers and other electronic weapons are used unnecessarily or in excess.
- Chemical weapons, such as pepper spray, used without justification.
- Unnecessary or excessive use of restraints, such as handcuffs
- Intentional infliction of pain or suffering
- Sexual assault or rape by an officer
- Wrongful death
What Are The Legal Standards For Excessive Force?
The amount of force an officer can use is based on the circumstances surrounding the encounter. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the amount of force used must be “objectively reasonable” in light of the facts and circumstances known to the officer at the time.
This standard takes into account the severity of the crime, whether the Suspect poses an immediate threat to the safety of the officer or others, and whether the Suspect is actively resisting arrest or fleeing from justice.