Perhaps the most important part of the investigation is examining the video footage of the incident.
One of the main reasons police brutality is so widespread in the state of Washington is that law enforcement agents have every reason to believe they can act with impunity. Or at least had, until the massive street protests following the death of George Floyd prompted calls for a massive police reform. Banning chokeholds or the infamous ‘no knock’ police raids is a step in the right direction, but there’s also the question of accountability. The only way to shatter some agents’ belief they can act with impunity is for the victims of police misconduct to find themselves experienced Washington police brutality lawyers and file a complaint against those responsible.
Following the tragic death of George Floyd, many states, including Washington, decided to ban chokeholds. This is a great thing, but it doesn’t solve the real problem, which is the excessive use of force. Instead of chokeholds, the police can use batons, tasers or their guns. Or break some bones with a good old beating. Granted, you have a better chance of making it out alive, but you still risk severe injuries.
Also, the real problem is not banning certain methods, but making sure law enforcement agents obey already existing regulations which limit the use of force. If you thought police officers can use whatever methods they see fit, that’s because that’s how they behave. The truth is police agents can only use a reasonable amount of force in the course of their duty and that force must be proportional to the threat the suspect poses.
When a suspect is not resisting and is unarmed, police agents have no reason to use force. When a suspect has surrendered and was handcuffed, the arresting officers do not have the liberty to punch or taser them. If that happens, that’s a violation of your civil rights. A good police brutality lawyer in Seattle can help you seek justice.
If you were abused by a police officer during an intervention or after you were sent to jail, your misconduct lawyer will help you file a civil complaint at state or federal level.
Your lawyer will start by interviewing the responsible police officers and by requesting the police report, to see what their version of the story is. Also, your attorneys will talk to eyewitnesses and their testimony can be of crucial importance when your case goes to court.
Perhaps the most important part of the investigation is examining the video footage of the incident. Under the recent police reform measures, police departments in Washington will receive increased funding for body cams. If the incident is captured by the body cams of the intervening agents, these images can be presented in court so that anyone can see what really happened. If you cooperated with the police, the agents had no reason to use force against you. Nor did they have any reason to yank your arm and break it.
If you were injured during a police intervention you have the right to receive damages, whether you are guilty of some crimes or not. You can get damages for your medical expenses and lost income as a result of your injuries, but you can also claim non-economic damages for all the suffering they’ve caused you.