Civil Rights Attorneys Working With Victims of Police Brutality
It is no secret that police work is a very dangerous job in which officers put their lives on the line every single day. Fortunately, the vast majority of police officers who serve cities and townships throughout the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, are well-disciplined and completely committed to their work. However, overusing—or abusing—the power which they are given can lead to serious problems which should not be overlooked.
Police brutality can lead to a whole host of emotional, legal, physical, and financial consequences. If you believe that you or someone you love has been the victim of police brutality, the police brutality lawyers at The Zeiger Firm are here to help. Our knowledgeable legal team has significant experience representing victims of police brutality at the federal level and can assist you with pursuing both the compensation and justice that you deserve.
Give us a call today for more information on how we can help you take legal action in your police brutality case. Our office handles federal police brutality cases that arise in the following counties that comprise the Eastern District of Pennsylvania: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia.
Common Types of Police Brutality
People have a right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Police brutality constitutes an unlawful seizure.
When many people think of police brutality, they think of a police officer who uses an excessive amount of physical violence against an individual who is suspected of committing a crime and who has been restrained. Although this specific type of police brutality is unacceptable, there are several other types of actions that fall under the umbrella of police brutality.
Police brutality and misconduct also include:
- Sexual assault or harassment – When a police officer gropes a victim, or subjects him or her to unwanted sexual touching, advances, or harassment, the officer may have committed sexual assault or harassment against the victim.
- Physical violence – Police officers are allowed to use some degree of physical force against a person who is suspected of committing a crime—especially if the suspect is presumed to be armed and dangerous. However, the degree of physical force exercised depends heavily upon the given circumstances. If a victim can demonstrate that a police officer likely used excessive physical force against him or her under the circumstances, then the victim may pursue a case against the officer.
- Racial profiling – Racial profiling involves targeting or suspecting that an individual of a certain ethnicity or race committed a crime, based solely upon stereotypes associated with that ethnicity or race instead of individual suspicion. Racial profiling can also include targeting a suspect on the basis of assumed characteristics associated with a person’s national origin or religion.
- Strip searches – Police officers are not permitted to engage in strip searches of suspects in a manner that is in any way degrading or humiliating.
- Blackmail or coercion – Police officers are not allowed to use blackmail or any other means of unnecessary or excessive coercion as a means of pressuring an individual to do something that the individual does not have to nor want to do.
Although the frequency of these types of activities occurring is uncommon, they do still take place on occasion. If you feel that you or a loved one has been the victim of one or more of these types of police brutality in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, our legal team is ready to fight for justice on your behalf.
Steps You Should Take if You Believe That You Were the Victim of Police Brutality
Following instances of police brutality, some victims are left injured and traumatized. On top of that, they may be transferred directly to a jail or correctional facility to be booked. Police brutality cases can also be difficult to prove, since it is presumed in many instances that police officers acted appropriately under the given circumstances.
If you believe that you or someone you love has been the victim of police brutality, there are several steps that you can take to safeguard your legal rights, as well as increase your chances of success in a case that you might later bring against the police officer.
The first thing that you should do after an incident of police brutality, if you can, is write down exactly what happened during the occurrence. Include notes about your injuries, pain, and symptoms that resulted from the incident with the police officer. You should also take good photographs of any injuries you sustained during the altercation.
If you can, obtain names and contact information for all eyewitnesses to the scene of the incident, so that they can serve as potential trial witnesses later on. Please seek medical treatment for your sustained injuries as soon as possible. Finally, you should speak with our knowledgeable police brutality attorneys as soon as possible.
Contact Us Today to Speak With Our Police Brutality Lawyers
The experienced legal team at The Zeiger Firm understands the seriousness of federal police brutality cases and the difficulties associated with proving them successfully. If you feel that you have been unlawfully victimized by an overzealous police officer, you are not alone. Our compassionate federal civil rights lawyers can meet with you for a confidential consultation to discuss what happened and to develop a plan for moving forward with your case against the offending police officer and/or police department.
To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a police brutality attorney, call us at (215) 546-0340 or contact us online today to learn more about how we can assist you.