What You Need to Know About Police Brutality and Your Rights

Dealing with the police can be a stressful experience even when your rights are respected, but what happens when they aren't? Each year, adults across the country are victims of police brutality. Here's what you need to know.

Each year, adults across the country interact with the police. Generally, these interactions are quite benign. Perhaps a police officer pulls you over for speeding or gives you a warning because your car registration is expired. In some cases, police officers will help answer your questions about local laws or police certain areas to keep residents safe. Sometimes, however, police officers act in a way that is not only unsafe, but also illegal. As a United States citizen, you have many rights designed to protect you and keep you safe. When police officers violate these rights, you may feel humiliated, scared, or disrespected. You may feel violated. You may wonder what steps you can take to prevent this from happening again. Fortunately, there are several things you should know about police brutality and mistreatment.

1. Excessive force is not permitted.

One of the most commonly reported types of police brutality is the use of excessive force during an arrest. When an officer arrests a citizen, sometimes they are forceful. This is typically permitted within reason, especially if the officer is fearful for their life or the lives of people around them. In some cases, an officer may use excessive force that includes punching, choking, or kicking a citizen. If this occurs, make sure you seek legal assistance as soon as possible as this extreme amount of force can be quite dangerous.

2. You may have to provide proof.

In some cases, the victims are responsible for providing proof that an injury or rights violation occurred. There are many ways you can help your attorney gather proof, so make sure you discuss what happened in as much depth as possible. If there were witnesses who saw the violation, video cameras, or photos taken, let your lawyer know.

3. An experienced civil rights attorney can guide you.

Your lawyer understands the sensitive nature that surrounds civil rights issues. No one wants to feel violated or helpless. These emotions can make dealing with civil rights violations even more challenging. If you were physically injured by the police, you may feel scared to face the person or people who hurt you, which can make talking with an attorney even more difficult. Understand that your lawyer will do everything in their power to help you feel comfortable and at ease. They will discuss your experience with you and help you evaluate all of your options for moving forward.

If you have been the victim of police brutality, make sure you reach out to an attorney who can help you. Your lawyer can answer your questions, evaluate your case, and discuss your options for moving forward. You are not alone in your experience and your attorney will do everything in their power to help you.