Police brutality is a form of misconduct. Essentially, it breaks down to unnecessary violence by the authorities. It is illegal, yet there are times when officers face very little in terms of penalties.
Colorado’s laws state that police misconduct can be through the use of excessive force, false imprisonment or false or unlawful arrest. Here’s a little more information on each of these problems.
1. Police brutality
Police brutality is defined as the excessive use of force. Excessive force is something that receives a lot of publicity. For instance, if you are pulled over for a traffic stop, there is no reason for an officer to violently remove you from your vehicle. Similarly, if you are willing to go with an officer to the police station, then there’s no reason for a violent attack to force you to go.
The trouble with police brutality cases is that officers can use force as long as it’s within the proper performance of their jobs. Willful, unreasonable conduct is different, though, and it’s something you can file a lawsuit over.
2. Unlawful arrest
An unlawful arrest is one made without the authority to do so. For instance, getting arrested with no probable cause to believe you did anything wrong is unlawful. This prevents officers from arresting whoever they’d like to arrest as they walk down the street or go about their normal daily lives.
3. False arrest
A false arrest is slightly different than an unlawful arrest, as it violates a person’s Fourth Amendment rights. The officer may also perform an unreasonable search and seizure of the person’s possessions.
Officers must have probable cause to stop or arrest people. Officers are allowed to arrest without a warrant, in some cases, like if you violate the law while in their presence. However, lacking probable cause is a serious concern and one that your attorney could exploit to help you avoid penalties.
With any of the above types of police misconduct, the trouble is that you’re not being treated fairly and that your rights are being violated. It’s not fair, and it’s not right.
It is up to you to discuss your situation with your attorney, so it’s clear that what the officer or officers did was not within the scope of the law. If you’re hurt by the police for no reason other than being at the wrong place at the wrong time, it’s important that your rights are protected moving forward.