The police are required to protect and serve their citizens, not place them in danger, engage in offensive behavior, or injure them. To protect vulnerable and innocent citizens, police and sheriff’s departments have policies, rules, and systems in place meant to ensure that officers have the proper training and resources at their disposal to have safe encounters with the public.
When the police or other sworn officers of the law hurt or kill the very people they are sworn to protect and serve, DuBose Miller will demand accountability. If you or a loved one has been hurt at the hands of the police in the Atlanta area, we can help. Our practice is passionate about protecting the rights and equality of clients who have had their dignity stripped from them by trusted public officials. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.
What is Police Brutality?
Police have the lawful right to use the minimal amount of force necessary to control a situation. But police brutality involving bodily harm and emotional distress to citizens or inmates is unacceptable. Likewise, if officers fail to uphold a person’s civil rights, they are in violation of the law and should be held accountable.
Police brutality is classified as the unjustified or excessive display of force by law enforcement against civilians. Some examples of the types of cases our law firm handles include:
- False arrest
- Racial profiling
- Verbal abuse
- Threats of violence
- Unnecessary or excessive force
- Sexual abuse
- Coerced or forced confessions
- Inmate abuse
- Falsified evidence
- Inappropriate use of pepper spray, tasers, and nightsticks
- Wrongful shootings
- Wrongful death
Your Civil Rights Protect You from Police Abuse
Civil rights are federal protections created to shield citizens from discrimination, suppression of speech, unlawful arrest, excessive force, and the violation of other freedoms. They are meant to ensure that people receive equal treatment under the law as well as receive protection from illegal government actions. The civil rights granted by the U.S. Constitution come primarily from:
- The First Amendment — provides protection for free speech and peaceable assembly.
- The Fourth Amendment — gives citizens the right to due process, which protects against unlawful arrest and illegal search and seizure.
- The Civil Rights Act of 1964 — deals with discrimination in housing, employment, education, commerce, government service, and other areas.
At DuBose Miller, our police brutality lawyers are committed to helping you secure justice for civil rights violations. We have a strong background in litigating civil rights cases in all forms of misconduct by law enforcement.
Recoveries for Damages Due to Police Brutality
If you’ve been the victim of police brutality in Georgia, you have the right to justice. Some law enforcement agencies might offer a quick settlement, but this may not be in your best interests. And just because a person didn’t end up with broken bones, that doesn’t mean their suffering isn’t worthy of compensation. Sometimes, the most substantial damages in these cases are emotional. Every case is different, and when you work with our law firm, we pursue a strategy designed to right the wrongs you’ve experienced.
Asserting Your Civil Rights During Police Encounters
Thanks to cameras capturing police/civilian encounters, police abusing their powers has been exposed now more than ever. No one discounts that the authorities have a stressful and difficult job or that many in this occupation behave in a lawful manner. But some continue to abuse the power they’ve been given. As a citizen, your survival and legal rights are of the utmost importance. To maintain your safety and protect your rights, we recommend you follow these steps when having any encounters with law enforcement:
- Be respectful — Even if you feel you are being harassed, avoid using hostile language, and don’t walk away from the confrontation.
- Calmly document — Calmly record your interaction with the authorities so you have proof of what is being said and done.
- Remain silent — You never have any legal obligation to provide an officer with any information other than your name. If you believe an officer is trying to intimidate or unfairly question you, tell them you will only speak to them with your attorney present.
- Call our office — Your best course of action is always to contact a seasoned civil rights attorney who will advocate for your interests.
What to Do After Your Rights Have Been Violated
Most instances of police brutality take place while a person is being arrested for a crime. If this happened to you, write down everything you remember about the event as soon as possible. If you believe your rights have been violated by the authorities, you should immediately contact an attorney who specializes in civil rights cases. Your attorney will handle all the legal aspects of your case. It’s important that you not “go public” with your allegations or speak with law enforcement about them without consulting your attorney first. If you have been injured, request immediate medical attention while you’re in custody or go to the doctor as soon as you are released. Keep a copy of your medical records as evidence that these events took place. Further, if there were any witnesses to the violation of your rights, secure the names and contact information of those people. Because of the challenges associated with proving police abuse, it’s critical that you work with a law firm that has experience in this specialized field.
Contact an Experienced Atlanta Policy Brutality and Civil Rights Law Firm
It might seem intimidating to pursue legal action against law enforcement officers, but you must protect your rights and hold these individuals accountable. If you’ve been a victim of police brutality, you have the right to pursue justice and compensation. At DuBose Miller, our police misconduct lawyers will review your situation and outline your options. Our skilled civil rights attorney can help you understand your rights and assist with many of the tasks that arise in these dangerous and uncomfortable situations. We act as an intermediary between you and the law enforcement agency, identify key witnesses and evidence to support your case, and represent your interests inside and outside the courtroom.
We are a team of highly experienced courtroom advocates who fight for the rights of clients throughout the greater Atlanta area. Call our office today at (404) 720-8111 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.