Police misconduct occurs when an officer violates someone's constitutional rights. This misconduct can subject the officer and the police department to both civil and criminal penalties.
Civil Police Misconduct
It is unlawful for an officer to engage in a pattern of conduct that deprives a person of their constitutional rights
You must be able to show that it is a pattern- one isolated incident is not sufficient to prove a civil violation
The court can grant you an injunction that requires the officer to stop the misconduct against you
A police officer is prohibited from engaging in practices of discriminatory misconduct
Again you must show that there is a pattern of discriminatory misconduct, before you can bring a case
Examples of civil discriminatory misconduct include:
discriminatory traffic stops
coercive sexual conduct
Criminal Police Misconduct
A law enforcement officer cannot deprive any person of his/her constitutional rights.
There is no requirement that the police misconduct be done in a manner to discriminate
Examples of criminal police misconduct include:
Using excessive force
Intentional false arrest
Intentional fabrication of evidence
What to Do If The Police Violate Your Rights
Always file a complaint first with the police department or internal affairs division. It is generally a requirement that you exhaust all of your administrative remedies first before bringing a lawsuit.
After reporting to the police department, the next step is to report the misconduct to the United States Department of Justice or the United States Attorneys office
After you have reported the violations, you then may be permitted to file a lawsuit in Court against the police department and/or their officers.
Filing a Lawsuit against the Police
If you feel the Police violated your rights and you want to file a lawsuit to collect money for your injuries, you should speak to an attorney immediately to learn more about your rights and the complicated legal system.
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