After you have been detained, the police officer might handle you so roughly that you sustain an injury. While officers are allowed to use a reasonable amount of force when handling a suspect, excessive force can be grounds for a lawsuit, especially if you required medical treatment as a result. However, you should be prepared for the government to fight your case as aggressively as possible. Here are some things you should do if you're considering filing a police brutality lawsuit:
Record The Incident
Write down everything that occurred using as many details as possible. Write down the names of all of the witnesses and the officer's names. Write down the car number and any badge numbers. These details will be helpful when identifying the officers involved and when proving that you were the victim of police brutality. However, if you are not able to find a badge number, it will still be possible to identify the officer by the time and location of the incident.
You have the right to request bodycam and dashcam footage. However, if you do not, the department will likely not volunteer it. You also have the right to freely record the officer. Video evidence is usually the most valuable.
Think Twice Before Filing A Complaint
Do not necessarily file a police complaint if you intend to file a lawsuit. When filing a complaint, you will give the police department more time to build a case in preparation for your lawsuit. You should only be giving the facts of your case to your attorney. However, if your attorney has faith in the department's internal affairs department, he or she may advise that you file a complaint.
Record Harassment Perpetrated By The Officer
While uncommon, some officers unfortunately harass those who have filed a lawsuit against them. If the officer you are suing pays you a visit, document everything that happened. If you have access to a video camera or smartphone, use it to document the incident. Keep friends and family members with you as witnesses and you will be able to use evidence of harassment to further bolster your case.
Always Hire A Lawyer And Consult With Him Or Her Before Taking An Action
Always work with a lawyer who specializes in police misconduct. Officers will sometimes prosecute a case aggressively if they believe that you will attempt to sue them, so you will need the assistance of a qualified lawyer. You will need to focus on your criminal charges before you begin focusing on your lawsuit. For more information, contact Charles Aaron PLC or another attorney in your area.
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