Police officers are meant to serve and protect, and for the most part, many police officers are good at their jobs and uphold the peace. However, there are a handful of law enforcement officials who abuse their position of trust and power, and behave in ways that are inappropriate and illegal. There are a number of laws that are in place to protect people from police abuse and misconduct because from time to time someone in law enforcement will overreach their bounds. When the police do something to you that is illegal, it is a violation of your civil rights, and you should not stand for it or tolerate it.
There are many different ways for police to commit misconduct. A few typical examples of police misconduct include the following:
- Making a false arrest of a person;
- Falsely imprisoning someone;
- Conducting an illegal search and/or illegally seizing property;
- Lodging unfounded criminal charges against an individual;
- Using excessive or unreasonable force for a given situation, which could rise to the level of police brutality;
- Shooting a suspect when the situation does not warrant such use of force;
- Using racial profiling;
- Conducting a stop and frisk when one is not justified; and
- Taking action to ensure a wrongful conviction against an individual.
Civil rights laws are meant to balance an individual’s rights to be protected from the police, with the duty of police to uphold our laws. When a person has been victimized by police misconduct, the victim should contact an experienced police misconduct and civil rights lawyer to discuss their situation, their rights, and what legal options for recourse the victim might have. Victims could be entitled to damages for a violation of their civil rights by law enforcement.
Law Enforcement and Immunity From Suit
As government workers, law enforcement officers are often shielded from lawsuits regarding their on-the-job conduct. If a police officer’s conduct is consistent with them performing their job duties, then their conduct is usually protected under the law of immunity. However, certain conduct that is willful, unreasonable or malicious is not part of a police officer’s job description, and can fall outside of the immunity protection police often receive. Police officers do not have a right to violate your civil rights, and when they do, they should be held accountable for their unreasonable or unjustified actions.
At Napoli Shkolnik, PLLC, we take civil rights violations seriously for our clients. We want to see you get the legal recourse you deserve, and we are ready and equipped to help you get the justice you need.
Contact us today to discuss your particular situation, or to learn more about your rights under the law.