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What are the Most Common Kinds of Police Misconduct in Montana?

— September 16, 2022

One of the main ways that officers will try to justify a false arrest is by planting evidence on an innocent suspect.

Billings, MT – While many police officers are careful to follow all relevant rules and procedures when interacting with the public and suspects in criminal investigations, there is always the potential for misconduct. Some officers choose to abuse their authority in various ways, and victims may suffer physical injuries, have to waste time in jail and clearing their names, as well as other kinds of harm. Anyone who believes that they may be a victim of police misconduct can speak with a lawyer about the possibility of filing a civil lawsuit against the officer in Montana and their employer.  

Police brutality

Police brutality is a general term that is used to identify situations where an officer uses some kind of excessive physical force. The level of force that is appropriate for any situation is governed by use of force protocols, and officers receive special training about how to handle situations that may become violent or deal with unruly suspects. This can involve the use of their firearms or other weapons, or it may only involve hitting a suspect who is defenseless. The main concern with police brutality is that some victims sustain serious injuries, or they may even be killed. Improper use of firearms can be especially dangerous, and gunshots can easily cause fatal injuries. 

False arrest

Image via MaxPixel. CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).

It is possible for an officer to abuse their authority by arresting someone without a legitimate reason, or fabricating reasons for the arrest. In most cases, the person can get the charges dismissed fairly quickly, but they will still be taken into custody and treated the same way as other criminals until the situation is cleared. A person who has been wrongfully arrested may even lose their job or experience other kinds of damage to their reputation and financial standing once they have a criminal record. Officers who intentionally make false arrests are subject to discipline by their department and they may be named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit. 

Planted evidence

One of the main ways that officers will try to justify a false arrest is by planting evidence on an innocent suspect. When this happens, it is a serious violation of the officer’s duty to protect and serve the public, and it is extremely dishonest behavior. There are civil rights laws that clearly say a government actor engaged in these kinds of misconduct can be sued for various kinds of damages. 

Getting more information about suing the local police is a website that lists lawyers who focus on police brutality cases in Billings and other cities around the country. Anyone who needs to speak with an attorney about their problems can choose their location and a practice area to get more information.

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