Police brutality has been receiving heightened attention over the past two to three years, notably since the August 2014 Mike Brown police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. Colorado residents have seen and experienced their unfair share of this violation of the public's trust as well.
One remedy against police brutality is the legal system, both civil and criminal. Oftentimes, law enforcement officers manage to evade criminal charges, but civil claims can help to make the victim whole again and to send a message that this behavior should not be tolerated. Victims of police overreach are increasingly asserting their civil rights via civil lawsuits.
Suing Law Enforcement
Bringing a lawsuit against the police can be a difficult and complex process. Laws are in place to protect citizens from police brutality, but the reality of the system is far different from the idea of justice. Police enjoy additional immunity, and their testimony is typically seen as more believable than that of a citizen. Despite these challenges, experienced lawyers are often able to help victims of police brutality to prove their claims.
The advent of cell phone footage has been helpful in demonstrating that instances of police brutality occur far more frequently than previously assumed, and that officers often lie to cover up their unlawful actions. To prove a police brutality claim, you must demonstrate that the officer used more force than warranted, and/or that there was not sufficient cause to detain you. Evidence, such as video, witnesses, and the officer's own record, can assist in supporting your allegations.
Police brutality is typically categorized in three different ways: use of excessive force, false or unlawful arrests, and false imprisonment. If you have been subjected to this type of behavior at the hands of the police, you may have a viable civil claim. Contact an experienced Colorado attorney to discuss your situation and assert your rights.