More than any year in recent memory, 2015 was a year where police misconduct was thrown into the spotlight by activist groups and journalists in the United States. Beneath the surface, a movement to report data on police killings has also emerged. The most difficult challenge to this movement has been obtaining and reporting information about the deaths of individuals who were killed while in police custody. Names that no one knew two years ago suddenly became known to everyone because they were part of a group of mostly black men and women who had been killed while in the custody of police.
The deaths of these individuals helped spark the “Black Lives Matter” movement, which became widespread quickly thanks to social media that it could not be ignored. Part of the frustration voiced in the Black Lives Matter movement is the accusation that police department throughout the country are willing to cover up or fail to accurately report the details of the events leading up to the deaths of individuals in police custody. Since black Americans are disproportionately killed by the police, and many times under suspicious and questionable circumstances, the Black Lives Matter movement continues to add new members, grow louder and keep police departments across the country under pressure to perform lawfully.
However, since most of these deaths occur where the only witnesses are police officers who are faithful to their departments, members of the public oftentimes believe they are being deceived by police departments or lied to about the details of the events leading up to an individual’s death while in police custody. “The Counted,” “Killed by Police,” “Mapping Police Violence,” and the Department of Justice’s new open-source data system on police killings are four notable projects that have been formed in an attempt to compile the data and information of those killed at the hands of the police. However, these organizations have had difficulty putting together specific information and obtaining evidence. The editorial processes of these organizations have also been questioned, since some of them do not include individuals in their data if their death was ruled a suicide or natural causes.
Finding out about the deaths of those killed behind bars in the prisons and jails throughout the U.S. is an even more difficult feat. However, looking at each event individually can make all of these tasks much easier. Wrongful death lawsuits are regularly filed when a person is killed by the police and the best means to reveal what really happened is generally through the courts. During a wrongful death case, important information can be subpoenaed so that the police department is forced to hand over evidence that may divulge what really happened.
Philadelphia Police Misconduct Lawyer, Patrick G. Geckle, Gives Victims of Police Misconduct a Voice
Philadelphia police brutality lawyer, Patrick G. Geckle, fights for victims of police misconduct, police brutality, wrongful death and all civil rights violations. Patrick G. Geckle holds police officers accountable for their actions and makes sure that clients are compensated for physical and psychological injuries. If you, a loved one or someone you know has become a victim of police misconduct, call us right now at 215-735-3326 or contact us online.
We represent clients throughout Eastern Pennsylvania including Philadelphia County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County and Montgomery County.