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What Is 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.

The term police brutality usually applies in the context of causing physical harm to a person. Still, it also involves psychological harm through the use of intimidation or any other tactics beyond the scope of officially sanctioned police procedures. If a police officer or any other person affiliated with law enforcement duties use excessive and or unnecessary force when dealing with suspects and civilians, it can be taken as police brutality.

The term also applies to abuses by corrections personnel in municipal, state, and federal penal facilities, including military prisons. The term “brutality” has various meanings; the sense used right here (savage cruelty) was 1st used in 1633. The “police brutality” has been within use since at least 1833 when it appeared in the London paper The Poor Man’s Guardian.

Police misconduct and brutality

When incidents of police misconduct get highly publicized, they can have adverse effects on the victims of abuse, as well as on the public perceptions of the police departments implicated in the conflict; The magnitude and time these effects might last in the people can be of vast proportions.

There have been instances of people who’ve engaged in police brutality acting with the implicit approval of their local legal system, for example, during the Civil Rights Movement era. Even in the modern era, there are still officers that participate in police brutality with the tacit approval of the superiors. However, some others could be rouge officers, acting without their superior’s knowing.

Within either case, they might perpetrate their actions below the color of law (adjusting the law code to the circumstance, even if said apparent legal action contravenes the law) and, a lot more often than not, participate in a subsequent cover-up of the illicit activity.

In the United States, efforts to combat police brutality focus on various aspects of the police subculture, and aberrant psychology, which may manifest itself when individuals are placed in a position of absolute authority over others. Specific suggestions for how to decrease the occurrence of police brutality include body cameras and civilian review boards.

Police brutality lawsuit settlements

If the municipal or state department fails to implement policy-driven measures to combat police brutality successfully, they’ll ultimately find themselves as defendants in some lawsuit. The idea behind this solution to police brutality is that the case will be heard fairly by taking the civil action to a federal court level, and the financial judgments are intended to have a deterrent effect on future police misconduct in that department.

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.