If the judge rules in your favor, you can receive damages.
The tragic death of George Floyd last year sparked huge protests against police brutality in Tennessee. Enough is enough. Another positive outcome is the increase in the number of people who decide to fight back against police brutality in Tennessee by legal means. Police officers can and should be held accountable when they use excessive force. If you were a victim of such an incident, the right thing to do is to get in touch with an experienced Tennessee police brutality lawyer and file a civil complaint.
What constitutes excessive force?
Law enforcement agents can use force only when the situation warrants it. When they need to apprehend a potentially dangerous suspect, someone armed or threatening, police officers can respond in kind, but only with a reasonable amount of force. They cannot shoot an unarmed suspect, nor can they use their batons or tasers on a civilian who is not resisting.
Chokeholds or punches are also unnecessary against someone who is not threatening the agents in any way. However, these types of incidents are quite common, and they can cause serious injuries.
The main reason some police officers use such brutal methods is their belief that they can get away with it. In a great number of cases, they do. Most people are too scared to take action against a law enforcement agent, but this type of attitude can only lead to other people being abused. If you want to put an end to police misconduct you need to do something. Talking to a good police brutality lawyer in Nashville is just the first step.
How can a police brutality lawyer help you?
Once you have a seasoned police misconduct lawyer working on your case, they’ll start looking for evidence to substantiate your claims. Your attorney will listen to your story, but he will also interview the police officers involved to see what they have to say. They’ll also get copies of the police reports which contain the official version of the incident, the one they need to disprove in court.
If the agents were wearing body cams, your attorney will request access to the recordings, to make sure they don’t get deleted. If there were any surveillance cameras in the area, those can also be used to show what actually happened.
One important part of the investigation is talking to the eyewitnesses. Some of them might even have videos of the incident on their mobile phones.
At the same time, a smart lawyer will want to check out the past of the agents involved. If they have been previously accused of misconduct, this can be used to demonstrate a pattern of abuse. They won’t be able to say they had reason to feel threatened by you, if your lawyer can bring up other incidents in which they used an excessive amount of force against other civilians.
If the judge rules in your favor, you can receive damages. First of all, you are entitled to economic damages covering your medical expenses and your lost wages, if you missed work because of your injuries or if you were falsely arrested. At the same time, you can claim non-economic damages for your pain and suffering.