What can you do when you are a victim of police brutality? You can seek damages for what you’ve suffered.
Police brutality has come under intense scrutiny all over the country following the death of George Floyd, but assessing the use of excessive or deadly force in North Carolina is no easy task. Agencies across the state are able to keep complaints under wraps as such documents are not considered public records under North Carolina law. The same applies to discipline records on file. Off-limits, to the general public.
The most you can get are numbers, such as the number of cases intervening officers used force. No details, though. There’s a very fine line between the legitimate use of reasonable force by law enforcement agents and police abuse. Once that line is crossed, all you can do is reach out to the best North Carolina police brutality lawyers and file a complaint. This is as much about you finding justice as it is about putting a stop to police misconduct, a phenomenon which has reached pandemic levels in the US.
The few details available show that most of the incidents reported by law enforcement agents were soft hand techniques. No word on how the victims feel about these so-called soft-hand techniques, which can range from grabbing or holding to joint manipulation. That doesn’t sound very soft, does it? Joint manipulation can lead to serious injuries requiring medical attention. Sometimes victims get to see a doctor, but it can also happen that they are thrown into a cell, often in unbearable pain, and told to wait. If they complain, they get shouted at or another beating, for good measure. This amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, prohibited under the Eighth Amendment.
If you were injured in such an incident, a good police brutality lawyer in Charlotte, NC, can help you file a complaint against the agents or the police department itself. Your lawyer will start by doing what no one has done so far – listen to your side of the story. Your word won’t be enough, but an experienced police brutality lawyer will be able to substantiate your claims by talking to eyewitnesses and requesting access to body cam footage. They will also scout the area looking for security cameras that might have recorded the incident. Police agents are only authorized to use force if they fear for their lives or if you pose a threat to other members of the public. If you did nothing of the kind, their excessive use of force falls under misconduct.
Also, if a police officer stops your car for no reason that’s also an abuse smacking of racial profiling. Criminal defense lawyers in North Carolina often have to handle such cases. Most of the victims are African Americans or members of other minorities. Such practices are illegal and represent a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
What can you do when you are a victim of police brutality? You can seek damages for what you’ve suffered. The damages should cover your medical bills, the cost of rehabilitation programs, as well as your unpaid wages for the duration of your recovery. Also, you can claim non-economic damages for the emotional trauma you’ve suffered. If the intervention of the police agents was particularly shocking or brutal, your attorney will also ask for punitive damages.