It’s not uncommon to turn on the news and hear a story of police brutality and misconduct towards a civilian; however, there may come a time when you come upon such a situation live – as it’s happening. If you witness this, first off, don’t panic. It’s not abnormal to feel intimidated by the situation, but you can help. Responding to police misconduct is extremely important, could help save a life, and is a step towards saving your community from further police abuse.
Here are a few steps you to can take to combat police misconduct. Approach each of these steps calmly and with organization.
Step 1: Document What You Experience
This might be the most important step. Do it quickly during or after the incident occurs. Once it’s over, it can be very easy to forget small details, especially as time passes. Considering recording yourself describing everything you saw, from the start of the encounter to the end. Quote the officer – if you hear him or her speak – verbatim. Be specific about the surroundings, the time and the location. Remember as many details as possible. Include witness’s names and contact information, the officer’s name (if you can get it), physical descriptions of all parties involved, etc. Include facts and not opinions.
Step 2: Contact an Attorney
Do this immediately, especially if you are arrested following the incident.
Unfortunately, individuals who become victim to police misconduct are often forcefully prosecuted in order for them to gain leverage if a lawsuit is filed. After all, it doesn’t “look so good” if the plaintiff was recently arrested. Again, if you’re in this situation, you’re in need of an attorney who specializes in police misconduct cases. Avoid an attorney who works in many areas of the law. This is a specialty. Regardless if you were charged with a crime because of the incident you witnessed, you may still want to pursue a civil case against the police. We can help you build a strong suit.
Step 3: File a Report
Once all criminal and civil charges have been resolved, you can file a police misconduct report. Your attorney can help you identify where the report should be filed. You goal here is to create an official record of the incident. If other complaints have been (or end up being) filed against the same officer or precinct, this information can be used by community leaders to prevent police abuse where you live. You may never hear a response from your complaint, but it’s still important.
We Have the Experience
Cases involving police misconduct or inappropriate brute force are complicated and complex. You need an attorney with years of experience and success in this specialized field. Let us fight alongside you.Call 800-555-7780 or contact attorney Patrick Geckle for a free consultation.