When they do use force to make an arrest or to prevent a suspect from fleeing they need to make sure that the force they use is reasonable and proportional to the threat that individual poses.
The massive BLM protests last year have prompted Vermont lawmakers to push for a profound reform of police activity to prevent the use of excessive force and bring to justice any officer guilty of misconduct. No matter how well intended, such reforms take years to show results, and, in the meantime, Vermont residents have to suffer at the hands of police officers who consider themselves above the law. That is not to say that all police agents are bad. Most of them do their best to protect the community and uphold the rule of law without using unnecessary violence. However, there are those who seem to think they have absolute power over civilians. If you have the misfortune of meeting one of those, the best thing you can do is to contact the best police brutality lawyers in Vermont you can find.
Law enforcement agents do not have absolute powers. They are on the streets to serve the community and there are strict regulations on the amount of force or the type of weapons they can use in the course of their duty.
When they do use force to make an arrest or to prevent a suspect from fleeing they need to make sure that the force they use is reasonable and proportional to the threat that individual poses. For instance, they can use soft hands techniques to restrain a suspect, but they are certainly not allowed to beat, punch or taser a person who is not resisting arrest or has already been handcuffed. Also, they are not allowed to use their guns against unarmed suspects. Even if a suspect is trying to flee, the agents can only use firearms if they have strong reasons to believe that individual is a threat to the community or might destroy important evidence in the case.
Many times, civilians are hurt during a police action. If that happens to you, you need to speak with an experienced police brutality lawyer in Burlington. It doesn’t matter if you’re guilty of some crime or not. You still have civil rights and you have the right to file a civil complaint when they are not respected.
If you are abused while in custody, don’t hesitate to talk to a police misconduct lawyer. Unnecessary strip searches, verbal abuse, sexual abuse or withholding medical care are a violation of the Eighth Amendment which describes cruel and unusual punishment. It’s not an officer’s job to punish you. That’s for the judge to decide.
A good criminal defense lawyer can also help you if you were illegally stopped and searched. Racial profiling is a big problem in Vermont as it is in the rest of the country. Stopping a member of a racial minority in traffic or on the street without due cause represents police misconduct. Patrol agents are not allowed to stop you just because they find it odd a black person should be driving a nice car. Nor do they have the right to search your vehicle on the assumption that a person of color is probably involved in some criminal activity. If that happens, that is a violation of the Fourth Amendment and you have the right to file a complaint.