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How Can a Person in Iowa Tell if a Police Encounter Involved Excessive Force?

— September 16, 2022

If an officer has committed acts against a person that involve excessive force, the victim has the right to sue for compensation.

Des Moines, IA – When someone is apprehended or arrested, the police are allowed to detain the suspect and use a certain amount of force to do so. However, officers are trained how to do so properly, and their methods and actions must be reasonable based on the dangerousness of the situation and the person. If someone becomes a victim of excessive police force, they have the option of bringing a civil lawsuit for compensation against the department that employs the officer in Des Moines or other cities. 

The definition of excessive force

Use of force protocols for law enforcement will instruct the officer to use the least amount of force necessary to protect people nearby and prevent further crime or other kinds of injuries and harm. If a person is necessarily hit, beaten, shot, or harmed by violence at the hands of an officer during an encounter, this is considered police brutality. While each analysis needs to be made on a case by case basis, police should not harm or kill defenseless suspects or those who pose no threat of violence, even if they have committed a crime and can be legally arrested. 

Use of force training

Police officers receive specific training regarding when and how they can use force or violence to detain suspects that resist or protect people in the area. The concepts contained within these kinds of training are referred to as use of force protocols. While officers can use force to obtain compliance with lawful commands, police are also trained in de-escalation techniques and negotiation to try to avoid violence when possible. 

Situations where excessive force tends to happen

Man being handcuffed; image by Kindel Media, via
Man being handcuffed; image by Kindel Media, via

There are certain patterns of behavior that usually emerge from officers who are engaged in illegal actions against a suspect. These can include hitting a person who is already handcuffed, shooting a person who is fleeing the area, illegitimate verbal commands to stop resisting as the officer beats the person, using weapons when the person can be detained by less dangerous means, and the use of deadly force, which should only happen when the person poses a clear danger to the lives of the officers or others nearby. 

Lawsuits for excessive use of force

If an officer has committed acts against a person that involve excessive force, the victim has the right to sue for compensation. They may be paid through the lawsuit for things like medical bills related to their injuries, damage to their reputation, and lost income while they recovered. 

More information about police brutality lawsuits is a site where people can find a lawyer that matches their needs. Anyone who needs to meet with a police brutality lawyer in Iowa or get help related to other legal issues can schedule a consultation. 

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