ACLU and Police misconduct
The American Civil Liberties Union is our nation’s guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States, including police misconduct cases.
What is the ACLU
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1920 “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States”.
Officially nonpartisan, the organization has been supported and criticized by liberal and conservative organizations alike. The ACLU works through litigation and lobbying and it has over 1,200,000 members and an annual budget of over $100 million.
Local affiliates of the ACLU are active in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The ACLU provides legal assistance in cases when it considers civil liberties to be at risk. Legal support from the ACLU can take the form of direct legal representation or preparation of amicus curiae briefs expressing legal arguments when another law firm is already providing representation.
In addition to representing persons and organizations in lawsuits, the ACLU lobbies for policy positions that have been established by its board of directors.
Current positions of the ACLU include: opposing the death penalty; supporting same-sex marriage and the right of LGBT people to adopt; supporting birth control and abortion rights; eliminating discrimination against women, minorities, and LGBT people; supporting the rights of prisoners and opposing torture; and opposing government preference for religion over non-religion, or for particular faiths over others.
What is Police Misconduct
Police misconduct refers to inappropriate conduct and/or illegal actions taken by police officers in connection with their official duties.
While the laws of each state might differ in some ways, police misconduct in California can include the following:
- Police brutality
- Use of excessive force
- Improper deadly force
- Deliberately obtaining false confessions
- Creation and use of falsified evidence
- False arrest
- False imprisonment
- False testimony
- Unlawful entry into a home or private property
- Police corruption
- Political repression
- Racial profiling
- Sexual abuse
- Code of silence
How ACLU helps Police Misconduct victims
The ACLU of Southern California has fought for decades against police abuse and for policing that is equitable, transparent, and democratic. In the courts, in city halls, in the legislature, the ACLU SoCal has challenged excessive force, police misconduct, racial profiling, broken-windows policing, and dragnet surveillance.
They have fought for the public’s right to know about police, from access to body camera footage and department’s determinations about proven misconduct to the policies and safeguards governing surveillance technology.
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Haddad & Sherwin LLP has a long, successful track record winning wrongful death and other serious civil rights claims for police and jail officer misconduct, throughout Northern and Central California. Call or email us for a free consultation.