While police officers and other law enforcement personnel are required to act with respect regarding the Constitutional rights of those within their custody, too often these individuals fail to do so, and instead cause serious injury to arrestees, a common form of police misconduct. The National Police Misconduct Reporting Project, a collaboration with the Cato Institute, records daily instances of police misconduct throughout the country, some of which include conduct that occurred during the course of an arrest.
If you have sustained injuries while being placed under arrest, the thought of filing a civil suit against a law enforcement officer may be a daunting prospect, as they are powerful government employees. The following provides information on your rights in this situation though, as well as how an attorney in Texas can help.
Rights and Responsibilities of Police Officers in the Course of Duty
Police officers are extremely important members of society, as they are tasked with fighting crime, and are afforded certain powers to do so. But while police officers may have the right to arrest individuals that are engaging in activities against the law, they must still respect the individual’s rights provided for by the Constitution or other state laws. In fact, 42 U.S. Code § 14141 prescribes specifically that it is against the law for any governmental authority, which includes police officers and other agents of law enforcement, to “deprive persons of rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by Constitution” or other state laws. Any injuries incurred during police custody may be a demonstration of this deprivation, and may be grounds to initiate a civil lawsuit.
It is also a common misconception that police officers are able to use whatever force necessary in order to bring a suspect into their custody. While a police officer or other arresting officer may detain a suspect who is resisting, they must not use excessive force to do so.
What to Do After Sustaining Injuries Due to Suspected Police Misconduct
In order to attempt to recover compensation for injuries incurred during police custody, it is important that you take quick action in securing different forms of proof.
Some forms of proof that will be helpful in a case involving police misconduct may include:
- Documentation of the injuries, such as brain or spine injuries, as well as any medical treatments that were necessary for recovery or rehabilitation;
- Testimony from any eyewitnesses; and
- Photo or video evidence of the arrest.
These types of proof can help lead to the existence of police misconduct, although a trier of fact will weigh all presented information carefully before making a decision.
Recent Examples of Settlements in Police Misconduct Cases
For anyone who is recovering from injuries due to police misconduct, it may be beneficial to examine recent cases throughout the nation in which the verdict was made in favor of the injured party.
Contact Our Attorneys
If you have been injured while in police custody, then contact us by calling 888-662-3892 for experienced legal representation. Our attorneys are well-versed in this area of the law, and can help you take all necessary action to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.