·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

Lawsuits & Litigation

What are Some Important Facts About Police Brutality Lawsuits in Michigan?

— June 23, 2022

There are civil rights laws which say that police departments can be sued if their officers use their authority in improper ways.

Detroit, MI – Not all interactions between the police and the public turn out well. If an officer mistreats a person or a suspect in a criminal investigation in certain ways, they can be sued for using excessive violence or engaging in other kinds of illegal behavior. The victim of illegal police actions in Michigan can retain an attorney and be compensated for any losses caused by the officer in question. 

The police are limited in how they can use force and make arrests

Police brutality is a term that is commonly used when an officer uses an unnecessary and excessive amount of violence against any person. Officers are given relevant training about how to handle suspects, deal with unruly people, and proper use of weapons during their time at the police academy. 

Committing a crime does not justify any amount of force

Even when a suspect is in the process of fleeing from police, resisting arrest, or actively committing a crime, the amount of force that can be used by police is regulated by use of force protocols. For example, someone who is arrested for drug possession should not require the use of any force or violence during their interactions with police. Even if someone resists arrest or tries to escape from custody, the police are not suddenly justified in handing out beatings, shooting the person, or engaging in other extreme forms of violence. 

Lawsuits are the possible after various kinds of police abuses

There are civil rights laws which say that police departments can be sued if their officers use their authority in improper ways. This can include things like excessive force and violence, illegal arrests, inflicting fatal injuries, planted or forged evidence, and false sworn statements on arrest paperwork. When these kinds of actions form the basis of a lawsuit, the victim can ask for damages such as the costs of their medical treatment, lost income, and pain and suffering. 

Police departments may not always do a good job of monitoring their officers

A police officer wearing a body camera. Image via Wikimedia Commons/user:Ryan Johnson. (CCA-BY-2.0).

Police departments are supposed to be vigilant in terms of finding misconduct and disciplining officers as necessary. There is internal affairs, which is an entity within departments that is available to investigate misconduct claims, and many departments now require officers to wear body cameras at all times while on duty. However, lawsuits are still necessary because these are imperfect solutions, and not all misconduct and corruption is found and rectified. 

Meeting with a local attorney about police misconduct is a website that lists police brutality lawyers in Detroit and other parts of the country. People who need assistance after an altercation with the police can use the directory to find an attorney to help. 

Join the conversation!