In January 2017, the case of a Pennsylvania man who filed a federal lawsuit against a former Gettysburg officer, the officer’s superiors, and the police chief for the borough alleging police misconduct made headlines. In the lawsuit, the man claimed that he was threatened with a taser, then tasered five times as he shouted to the officer that he was being hurt. This event followed an argument between the alleged victim and the officer regarding a restraining order violation charge that was dropped due to a lack of evidence. Following the event, which was recorded on the officer’s body camera, the man was charged with resisting arrest. He was found not guilty. Now, he is seeking compensation for unspecified damages.
When is Tasering Justified?
Tasers, also known as stun guns, are used to subdue individuals under arrest who are acting in a threatening manner. Police departments around the nation maintain their own guidelines about when tasering is and is not justified. Acts of unjustified tasering may be considered to be police brutality.
False Arrest in Pennsylvania
A false arrest is defined as any incident of detaining an individual without probable cause. In the absence of an arrest warrant, a law enforcement officer may detain an individual if they have probable cause to believe that the individual has committed a criminal offense. In the case discussed above, the man claimed that there was no probable cause for his arrest and treatment. Allegedly, the man’s hands were visible while the officer pressured him out of the vehicle and used the taser on him.
What Can I Do if I am a Victim of Police Misconduct?
Start working with an experienced police misconduct lawyer as soon as possible. If you need medical attention for any injuries sustained during your interaction with law enforcement, seek appropriate medical care. Documentation of this medical treatment may be a valuable piece of evidence to use in your police misconduct claim. Other pieces of evidence you might need to include are photographs of yourself immediately following the incident, eyewitness accounts, and video surveillance of the incident if it exists.
Your lawyer can help you file a police misconduct report with the department responsible for your injury. You may be able to settle the case privately or you might have to file a lawsuit to have a judge and jury determine its outcome.
Philadelphia Police Misconduct Lawyers at the Law Offices of Patrick G. Geckle LLC Help Victims Seek Justice
Our team at the law offices of Patrick G. Geckle LLC is equipped to help you seek justice and compensation for your damages after you experience police misconduct. To get started with our firm, fill out our online form or call us at 215-735-3326 to set up your free consultation with us. Our office is located in Philadelphia and we serve clients from Bucks County, Berks County, Carbon County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lackawanna County, Lancaster County, Lawrence County, Lehigh County, Luzerne County, Montgomery County, and Monroe County, as well as the greater Philadelphia region.