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Filing a police misconduct complaint

This content about police misconduct was written by a third party and does not represent the views or opinions of Haddad & Sherwin LLP, nor should it be construed as a complete and accurate statement of the law or as legal advice.  For better information about this topic, please contact Haddad & Sherwin LLP.

If you’ve been harassed by a police officer or been a victim of police misconduct, you can exercise your right to file a complaint to the Department of Justice, under the protection of the United States Constitution. You may be able to gain an administrative remedy for the harassment experiences and may be able to file a lawsuit if there’s a reasonable case.

Complaints About Police Officers

If you have experienced police misconduct, you have the right to file a citizen’s complaint with the police agency involved:

  • Contact the law enforcement agency involved.
  • Submit your complaint in writing to the chief of police or the head of the law enforcement agency involved.
  • Send a copy of your complaint to the Internal Affairs Division of the law enforcement agency. Be sure to keep a copy for yourself.

If the problem remains unresolved, learn how to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Civil Rights Division.

Finally, as with any potential legal dispute, you may want to contact a licensed attorney.

Presenting proof of police misconduct

You must have evidence to back your claim against the law enforcement officer who you believe engaged in improper conduct. 

A video or compelling audio that shows the actions you’re basing your claim on, can provide substantial evidence and help you build your case against the officer or their respective agency for endorsing their actions or failing to reprimand them.

Filing Your Complaint

If you’re planning on bringing a police misconduct lawsuit, it’s is sometimes better to hold off on filing your complaint with the police department until after your lawsuit and any criminal charges pending against you are resolved, since the police could use the information of your claim against you in the lawsuit or criminal case.

The guidelines to report police misconduct vary from state to state. Your best option is talking to a police misconduct attorney so they can tell you how and when to file your complaint, where you should submit it, and how to get officials forms, if necessary. If you need to go to the station or contact them to get copies, avoid revealing any information about your incident.

If there was a violation of civil rights, you could also get in contact with groups like the ACLU or the NAACP to see if they are interested in your case.  Contact a private civil rights attorney in your state to advise you about whether you may have a case.

Source:

usa.gov 

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.

This content was written by a third party and does not represent the views or opinions of Haddad & Sherwin LLP, nor should it be construed as a complete and accurate statement of the law or as legal advice.  For better information about this topic, please contact Haddad & Sherwin LLP.