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Different Forms of Police Brutality

This content about Police Brutality 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.

In locations like California, the Bay Area, Oakland, and even San Francisco, police brutality lawyers haven’t been short of cases.

When dealing with this type of case, the main question is if the officer in the case used unnecessary or excessive force against the person that is filing the claim or police brutality lawsuit.

The answer in most cases is determined by comparing the decisions of the accused officer from the standpoint of a reasonable officer in the same situation to see how they would have handled things

Types of Police Brutality explained

There are many different kinds of excessive force that are considered to be police brutality, including:

  • Car accidents– If to stop a suspect a police car is used to ram or crash the suspect’s vehicle, it can result in significant injuries or, in the worst case, even death. Innocent civilians like pedestrians or motorists can also be at risk if the police car is recklessly used.
  • Baton beatings- Police officers are only supposed to strike people with batons who pose a significant threat, and officers are supposed to stop using their batons once a person has been subdued. The use of batons itself can result in critical injuries, that’s why police training in California does not allow them to be used against a suspect’s head, as it can lead to spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, disfigurement or even wrongful death.
  • Gun usage– Firearms are supposed to be a police officer’s last resort. Police shootings are only permissible when the person shot posed an immediate threat of death or serious harm to officers or others. Simply running away while holding up one’s pants is not an immediate threat. Even possessing a gun or other weapon without actively pointing or threatening anyone is not an immediate threat. Sadly, there are many of these cases where officers unjustly shot people.
  • Improper take-towns– There aren’t a lot of situations in which a violent takedown is actually allowed, and it is often in cases where a suspect is resisting arrest with great force. If the person is not resisting arrest for a serious crime and is subjected to an improper takedown, they generally should not be subjected to an injurious takedown.
  • High-Speed Chases– Some law enforcement agencies have policies or General Orders that officers should cease and desist from high-speed chases in a variety of situations. When these orders are not followed, it can result in critical injuries or wrongful death.
  • Tasers– Tasers can be a functional way to bring a suspect under control, but some people have suffered severe injuries from unnecessary or excessive Taser use, including heart attacks or injuries from falling from heights or on hard surfaces. Generally, officers are not permitted to tase a non-threatening person simply for fleeing arrest for a minor crime
  • Injuries to subdued arrestees– If a person that was handcuffed is kicked, punched or hit by a police officer without them posing a significant threat to the officer, the officer can be held liable. When a person is taken into custody and was handcuffed, they shouldn’t be injured by any officer.

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 about Police Brutality 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.