In a recent case out of Vineland, New Jersey, a man was awarded a $250,000 settlement from the city in exchange for waiving the claims of excessive force. In 2010, officers allegedly entered the man’s house without a warrant and handled him with excessive physical force. Philadelphia police brutality lawyers report that this came after he engaged in a dispute with a neighbor, a detective in the city, over their property line.
The dispute between the two neighbors began in 2009 and escalated until the date of the alleged entry and assault. The plaintiff claimed that the officers grabbed him at the waist, restrained him, beat him, and then accelerated and stopped suddenly while he was in the police car, causing him to suffer further injuries. He also claimed to have been pepper sprayed while at the police station. The case was dismissed in late July 2016.
How Much Force is Excessive Force?
“Excessive force” can be difficult to define. Physical contact and the use of some force is an expected part of a police officer’s job, but at what point can one draw the line?
There is no concrete definition. When an individual files a lawsuit against an officer for the use of excessive force, it is up to the jury handling the case to determine if the force used by the officer was in excess of a reasonable level of force. The plaintiff must prove that the officer used excessive force, which can be done by showing photographs of their injury, medical records showing the extent of their injury, testimonies from witnesses to the incident showing that the level of force used did not match the severity of the situation, and any other relevant pieces of evidence that can be used to demonstrate that the victim did not deserve the treatment they received.
Philadelphia Police Brutality Lawyers at The Law Offices of Patrick G. Geckle LLC Can Protect your Rights
Police misconduct is never acceptable. If a law enforcement officer or a private security guard has assaulted you, you have the right to take action and seek compensation for your damages. To learn more, fill out our online form or call 215-735-3326 or our toll free number 800-555-7780 to schedule your consultation with The Law Offices of Patrick G. Geckle LLC in our Philadelphia office. We work with clients from the entire Philadelphia area and throughout Eastern and Central Pennsylvania, including Bucks County, Carbon County, Berks County, Delaware County, Lancaster County, Lackawanna County, Lehigh County, Luzerne County, Montgomery County, and Monroe County.