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How Can You Fight Police Brutality in Atlanta?

— March 8, 2022

The best way to prove that a police officer used an unreasonable amount of force against you is to present video evidence.

Atlanta, GA – Following the protests that shook the city in the wake of George Floyd’s death, the Atlanta Police Department and the local council have vowed to curb police brutality and hold law enforcement agents accountable for their wrongdoings. Civilians in Atlanta now have access to more tools to report police brutality incidents, even anonymously, but if we’re going to wait for the APD to punish its own officers, things won’t change any time soon. The most effective way to address the issue is to lawyer up and file a lawsuit. 

If you or a loved one were the victim of any type of police violence, you need to get in touch with an experienced Atlanta police brutality lawyer and have them help you with your civil rights complaint.

What is police brutality?

Police brutality is a very broad term used to describe incidents when civilians are injured or killed in the course of police action, such as a search or arrest.

Law enforcement agents are allowed to use a certain amount of force while carrying out their duties. In some cases, it becomes necessary for them to use force. The law says police officers can only use a reasonable amount of force, the minimum amount necessary to accomplish their mission safely. If they use an unreasonable amount of force, that constitutes police brutality.

The problem is there’s a very fine line between reasonable and unreasonable force, and you will need knowledgeable Georgia police brutality lawyers to prove that what happened to you was illegal. 

How do you prove police brutality in Georgia?

The best way to prove that a police officer used an unreasonable amount of force against you is to present video evidence. The moment you reach out to a seasoned police brutality lawyer, they will start gathering evidence. 

When you file a civil rights complaint you can request the footage captured by the body cams the officers were wearing. You need to do that as soon as possible, or the footage might get deleted. The same applies to the footage that may have been captured by surveillance cameras in the area.

A surveillance camera. Image via Vorel. Public domain.

Also, eyewitnesses may have recorded the incident so it is important that you tell your lawyer who was present at the scene. Eyewitnesses can also give testimony about the incident. You need to get as many testimonies as possible, to support your claim. If it’s just your word against that of a police officer, your complaint doesn’t stand much of a chance. 

Your lawyers will investigate the officer’s past as well. As of 2021, civilians in Atlanta can access the Use of Force Dashboard, which was created to improve transparency and increase the trust between the public and the APD. If your lawyers discover that the law enforcement agents involved in your case have been charged with using excessive force in the past, they can use this to show there’s a pattern of violence in the officers’ behavior. 

Once your lawyers manage to build a strong case, you can file a civil rights complaint with the local police department. Internal investigations are rarely ruled in favor of the civilians, but you can then file a lawsuit and seek damages for your injuries as well as for your mental suffering and your public humiliation. Also, you can recover all your legal expenses so it’s the police department or the city council that pays for your lawyer. 

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