Agents have the right to defend themselves when they are facing an armed and dangerous suspect. And they have the duty to protect innocent bystanders.
More than 1,000 West Virginia residents are subjected to some form of physical violence at the hands of the police, according to a 2020 report by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The real number is hard to establish as many police departments in the state do not understand the concept of transparency and keep their records safely under wraps. The sad thing is that few of those abused have the courage to speak out. Only 200 civil complaints are filed each year, on average. And yet, it is so easy to fight back when your civil rights are violated. All you need is to find a tough police brutality lawyer in West Virginia and have them help you formulate a civil complaint.
Following the tragic death of Geroge Floyd, there’s been a lot of debate on the use of force by police officers. When is it legitimate for them to use force and at what point it becomes excessive?
Often enough the mission of a police agent can be dangerous. Agents have the right to defend themselves when they are facing an armed and dangerous suspect. And they have the duty to protect innocent bystanders. However, if they are confronting a suspect who cooperates and doesn’t behave aggressively, police officers are not allowed to use violent methods, like chokeholds and neck restraints, nor can they use pepper sprays or tasers. When an agent hits a suspect who has his hands in the air, that’s abuse. Even verbal abuse is prohibited.
If this happens to you, you must talk to an experienced Seattle police brutality lawyer and file a complaint.
The same goes for illegal searches and seizures, which are prohibited by the Fourth Amendment.
In many of these cases, there’s also an element of racial profiling, something police misconduct lawyers are very familiar with.
Police agents are more likely to stop and search a black or Latino person without due cause. Police officers will not call such incidents for what they are – racial bias. They’ll say they acted on a hunch. The only thing is police officers are not allowed to operate on a hunch. If they pull over a car they should have probable cause for that, some reasonable suspicion that the driver is engaging in some type of illegal activity. Just because they did not like the face of the black driver that’s no reason to stop them to see whether the car was stolen or not. Even if the driver has the papers in order, patrol agents often proceed to search the vehicle. Again on hunch. Who knows what they might find?
If you were a victim of this type of abuse, you need to contact a good criminal defense lawyer right away. If your lawyers can prove that the police had no legitimate reason to stop you, they could get any resulting charges invalidated. Your case could be dropped.
Also, if you were injured in the course of your arrest or in detention, you can file a complaint for excessive use of force and seek damages for your suffering.