If the officers’ actions lead to injuries, the victim has every right to file a complaint.
Back in 2014, the US Department of Justice issued a report detailing the widespread use of excessive force by the Cleveland PD, but little has been done since then to curb police brutality. The report found a pattern of misconduct among Ohio law enforcement agents, with such illegal practices being tolerated, if not directly encouraged by their superiors.
If you were a victim of any kind of police abuse, the only thing you can do is reach out to experienced Ohio police brutality lawyers and have those responsible brought to justice. One thing you need to know is that you need to act fast. You have only 90 days if you want to file a claim against a governmental institution, such as a police department.
There are several types of actions that fall under police misconduct: excessive use of force, illegal searches or seizures, false arrests, wrongful death, assault while in custody, racial profiling, etc.
Racial profiling is one of the most common types of misconduct among Ohio law enforcement agents. Targeting members of racial minorities without due cause, stopping them in traffic for no reason, searching their cars or confiscating their property are all illegal under the Fourth Amendment. A person of color will know exactly why they were stopped by the police, the officers will know that, too, but it will take a very experienced Cleveland police misconduct lawyer to prove that in court.
The same goes for the excessive use of force, another big issue with the Ohio police. The situations in which police agents are authorized to use reasonable force are quite limited. If they have reason to fear for their lives or the safety of others, then they can use force, pepper sprays, night sticks, etc. Using firearms against a suspect who is unarmed and not dangerous is illegal. So is kicking or tasering a suspect who has already surrendered, yet this is a frequent situation.
If the officers’ actions lead to injuries, the victim has every right to file a complaint. Their chosen police brutality lawyer will go through the official reports and interview the agents involved. An essential part of the investigation is looking into the agents’ past. Often enough, this will uncover a pattern of abuse. If there were other similar complaints against the officers and no disciplinary measures were taken, this puts the police department itself under the spotlight. As part of the measures implemented following the 2014 DOJ report, Ohio police departments need to provide training to their officers and reprimand them if they are found guilty of misconduct. In real life, though, this almost never happens.
It will take a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer to elucidate the circumstances of your illegal search and seizure or your false arrest. Malicious prosecution also qualifies as misconduct. Forced confessions and falsified evidence are grounds enough to have your case dismissed. The police and the prosecution know that only too well and their only chance to get away with it is that you don’t speak to a skilled attorney with many years of practice in police misconduct cases. Don’t play into their game!