Police Brutality: What to Do if You Are a Victim of Police Brutality in Orlando
What is Police Brutality?
Police brutality is defined as a police officer’s excessive or reckless use of force that results in a violation of a person's civil rights. It is considered misconduct on the part of the officer, beyond the scope of his or her authority. Police brutality may cause serious injuries or even death.
Officers involved in police brutality cases can be held accountable for their actions.
If you have not resisted arrest or assaulted the officer, you may have the right to sue through civil court to receive compensation for damages.
Believe it or not, this type of case is quite common, though many cases go unreported. The fear people may feel to assert their rights makes police brutality cases especially difficult.
Common Types of Police Brutality
Police brutality is a term widely used to refer to law enforcement officers misconduct and not always involves violence. Some types of police brutality or misconduct include:
- Excessive use of force such as baton blows or beatings, illegal takedowns, rubber bullets, punches and strikes, chokeholds, and excessively tight handcuffs.
- Illegal detention without probable cause.
- Wrongful imprisonment.
- Inhumane treatment, even torture.
- Jail neglect or abuse resulting in injuries.
- Racial profiling.
- Coerced confessions.
- Inmate abuse.
Steps You Should Take if You Are a Victim of Police Brutality
1. Seek medical attention
First, if the police did not arrest you and you suffered injuries due to excessive force, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible if the officers did not call an ambulance or you did not receive first aid. Your safety must be your priority and medical records can become key pieces in resolving these types of cases. Any evidence of excessive use of force can help you.
Other things that can help you support your case are:
- Witness statements
- Video records
- Photos of the injuries
The medical report is one of the strongest pieces of evidence in these cases. It is the endorsement of a health professional where the consequences of the police attack are recorded.
2. Seek legal advice to handle your case
In Florida, there are many ways you can take your case to court. You can file a formal complaint against the police department, file criminal charges against the officer(s) who committed the abuse, or you can file a lawsuit in civil court against the officer to seek compensation for damages.
Once you have received medical attention, the second thing you should do is immediately contact a personal injury lawyer. Law enforcement agencies often defend themselves relentlessly against these types of accusations, so you will need professional help to demonstrate you were the victim of police brutality.
A civil damages lawyer can help you identify the specifics of your case, interpret the evidence, fill out documents, and take care of all sorts of paperwork that can be complicated, especially if you are recovering from the physical or psychological injuries of the attack.
Contact Our Police Brutality Lawyers
The civil rights attorneys at First Choice Law are available at 321-999-1111 24 hours a day. You may also send us an email or fill out the online form located on this page and we will contact you shortly.