How A Civil Rights Attorney Can Help You With Police Brutality Cases

April 3, 2020

It’s no longer a secret that many members of law enforcement use excessive force in certain situations, even though they are sworn to protect the public. Whether it’s because they feel threatened or haven’t adequately been trained (or both), some policemen and women resort to using objects like tasers, batons, and even guns. Others use excessive force when handcuffing people. According to NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, the city’s taxpayers spent $230 million between July 2017 and June 2018 to pay off 6,472 lawsuit settlements against the NYPD. Approximately $108 million of that amount was tied to allegations of police misconduct such as excessive force and false arrests. The NYPD also reported in 2018 that officers’ utilization of Tasers increased by roughly 45% in 2017 to 728 incidents.

If you believe an NYPD officer has behaved violently toward you, a civil rights attorney in Manhattan can help. The experienced police brutality lawyers at Cohen & Fitch in New York are here to take care of you after you have been injured. 

Injuries Caused By Law Enforcement

Examples of common injuries police officers can cause include: 

  • Head injuries and concussions
  • Broken bones
  • Strangulation 
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Lacerations
  • Sprains and bruises
  • Paralysis 

Of course, some of these injuries can result in behavioral changes, including memory, emotions and impulse control. Therefore, it’s crucial to seek adequate medical treatment and take note of the circumstances of an officer’s actions against you, including witness statements.

Probable Cause In Police Brutality Incidents

Generally speaking, even the slightest level of force used by law enforcement can be viewed as excessive if there is no probable cause for an arrest, to begin with. However, even in cases where probable cause exists, an officer is merely allowed to utilize a degree of force reasonably necessary to secure the individual who is being arrested. Additionally, police officers are required to ensure detainees are not left unrestrained in squad cars under circumstances where injuries may occur. Officers are also prohibited from displaying reckless behavior when pursuing a fleeing suspect.