Filing a police misconduct complaint
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.
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.
More on Police Misconduct:
- About the Law Enforcement Misconduct Statute
- Agreeing with a search warrant
- Common types of Police Misconduct
- Deliberate Indifference
- Filing a police misconduct complaint
- How do I report Police Misconduct?
- Physical Assault
- The OJP Program Statute
- The Americans with Disabilities Act
- Police Misconduct in the US
- Laws Enforced by the Department of Justice
- Police Misconduct Provision
- What information should I include in a Complaint to DOJ
- Police Misconduct: A Violation of Your Rights
- See an Attorney about Police Misconduct
- Sexual Misconduct
- Understanding Police Misconduct and Civil Rights Violations
- What is Police Harassment?
- What counts as Police Misconduct?
- Advice from a Police Misconduct Attorney
- Your Legal Options after Suffering a Wrongful Arrest
- How to Legally Act Against Police Brutality and Misconduct
- How to Tell If You Are the Victim of a Wrongful Arrest
- How to Pick a Civil Rights Lawyer for Police Misconduct Cases
- Defenses You May Use as a Police Officer Against Alleged Police Misconduct
- What to Do When You Sustain Injuries Due to Police Misconduct
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.