When the police fail to perform their duties, perform their duties negligently, abuse their power, or use excessive force, they may be liable for damages. There are two main areas of police liability: liability for torts, for civil wrongs, and liability for civil rights violations.
What Kind of Suits Are Brought against the Police?
Some common forms of tort lawsuits brought against police include:
- Assault and Battery
- False Imprisonment
- False Arrest
- Wrongful Death
- Negligent Hiring, Supervision, or Retention of Officers
- Negligent Training or Failure to Train
- Negligent Entrustment
- Failure to Discipline or Investigate
Civil Rights Violations Involving the Police
A civil rights violation occurs when a police officer violates an individual's constitutional rights while on the job. Some common forms of civil rights violation lawsuits brought against police include:
- Freedom of speech, religion, and right to assemble (1st Amendment)
- Unreasonable search and seizure (4th Amendment)
- Privilege against self-incrimination (5th Amendment)
- Right to a speedy jury trial, and to be represented by counsel (6th Amendment)
- Cruel and unusual punishment (8th Amendment)
- Right to due process of law (14th Amendment)
Do I Need a Lawyer to Hold the Police Liable for My Damages?
If you believe a police officer has abused your rights or committed a tort against you, an experienced criminal attorney can advise you of your rights and possible remedies. A lawyer also can file any necessary paperwork and represent you in court.