“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”

– Marcus Aurelius

“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”

– Marcus Aurelius

An officer’s personal life could lead to excessive force

On Behalf of | Feb 3, 2024 | Civil Rights Violations By Police

Police officers are certainly not prohibited from using force. They sometimes need to do so in order to apprehend a suspect or to keep the public safe. This could include minor physical force, such as restraining someone, or it could even include the use of a firearm or another such implement.

However, there are many situations in which the police are accused of brutality or using excessive force. They are not allowed to take the level of force beyond what is reasonable for the situation.

For instance, if someone pushes a police officer, that officer may be able to grab them, handcuff them and restrain them, as the push could be a form of assault. But it would likely be excessive force if the officer simply drew their gun and fired it because they would have escalated the level of violence far beyond what was necessary.

How does their personal life play a role?

When looking into why police officers use excessive force, one thing that experts have noted is that the odds go up if that officer is experiencing certain personal problems.

For instance, maybe the officer is under a lot of stress because they’re living paycheck to paycheck and they’re not sure how to make ends meet. Or maybe they’re stressed out about relationship problems at home because their spouse has filed for a divorce. These outside stressors can mean that the officer is more on edge and more likely to escalate the level of force, rather than remaining calm and trying to de-escalate the situation. However, that does not make their actions excusable.

Have you been victimized by police brutality? If so, it’s crucial that you understand all of the legal steps you can take:

If an individual believes they were a victim of police brutality, there are several legal actions they can consider pursuing to seek accountability and justice. These actions may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the incident and the laws in their jurisdiction. Here are some common legal avenues for addressing allegations of police brutality:

  1. File a Complaint with the Police Department: Most police departments have internal affairs divisions or civilian complaint boards responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct by law enforcement officers. Filing a formal complaint with the relevant authorities is often the first step in addressing allegations of police brutality.
  2. Civil Lawsuits: Victims of police brutality may choose to file a civil lawsuit against the officers and/or the police department involved. These lawsuits may seek damages for physical injuries, emotional distress, violations of civil rights, and other losses resulting from the incident. It’s essential to consult with a qualified attorney experienced in civil rights and police misconduct cases to assess the viability of a lawsuit and navigate the legal process effectively.
  3. Criminal Complaints: In cases where the actions of law enforcement officers constitute criminal behavior, victims can file criminal complaints with the appropriate prosecuting authorities, such as the district attorney’s office or the state attorney general’s office. Criminal charges against police officers may include assault, battery, excessive use of force, or other related offenses.
  4. Contact Civil Rights Organizations and Advocates: Civil rights organizations and advocacy groups dedicated to combating police misconduct may provide support and resources to individuals who have experienced police brutality. These organizations may offer legal assistance, advocacy services, and community outreach initiatives aimed at promoting accountability and reform within law enforcement agencies.
  5. Seek Media Attention and Public Awareness: Bringing attention to incidents of police brutality through media coverage, social media campaigns, and public protests can raise awareness, mobilize community support, and pressure authorities to take action. Documenting the incident with photographs, videos, and eyewitness testimonies can also help corroborate the victim’s account and strengthen their case.
  6. Engage in Legislative Advocacy: Victims of police brutality and their supporters can advocate for legislative reforms and policy changes aimed at improving police accountability, transparency, and oversight. This may involve lobbying lawmakers, participating in public hearings, and supporting grassroots initiatives for police reform at the local, state, and federal levels.

It’s important for individuals who believe they were victims of police brutality to act promptly, gather evidence, and seek legal advice from qualified professionals familiar with the complexities of civil rights law and police misconduct cases. Additionally, seeking support from trusted allies, community organizations, and mental health professionals can help victims cope with the aftermath of traumatic experiences and navigate the legal process effectively.