Civil Rights Lawyer Los Angeles

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to protest peacefully. However, instances of police mistreatment during protests have become a significant concern. Knowing your rights and the appropriate actions to take if mistreated by police can help you protect yourself and seek justice. A civil rights lawyer in Los Angeles with Pointer & Buelna, LLP: Lawyers For The People is standing by to do precisely that.

Give us a call at (510) 929-5400 if you are experiencing a civil rights injustice. We are ready to review your case for a free first consultation. We are available 24/7.

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Understanding Your Rights

Before discussing the steps to take if police mistreat you during a peaceful protest, understanding your rights is essential. These rights include the following:

The Right to Peaceful Assembly

The First Amendment of the US Constitution ensures that citizens have the right to assemble peacefully. Individuals can gather and express their views without fear of government interference. This right is fundamental to a functioning democracy, enabling people to protest and advocate for changes in policies and laws. Peaceful assembly must remain non-violent, and any acts of violence can lead to legal consequences. 

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech is another cornerstone of the First Amendment. This right allows individuals to express their opinions, including criticisms of the government and law enforcement, without fear of censorship or retaliation. While this freedom is broad, it’s not absolute; the Constitution may not protect speech that incites violence or constitutes hate. Knowing the boundaries of free speech ensures you can protest effectively and legally, and recognizing violations of this right can help you take appropriate legal action.

Protection Against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures

The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government, including the police. This means that, in most cases, law enforcement officers need a warrant based on probable cause to search you or your belongings. This protection is crucial during a protest as it prevents arbitrary or unjustified searches and confiscations. Understanding this right can help you identify when a search or seizure is illegal and empower you to challenge such actions in court.

The Right to Record

Recording police activities is a powerful tool for accountability. It provides evidence protestors can use in legal proceedings or to support public awareness campaigns. However, this right has limitations; you must not interfere with police operations, and you should follow lawful orders from officers. Knowing this right enables you to document incidents safely and legally.


Steps to Take If Police Mistreat You During a Peaceful Protest

During a protest, if you encounter police mistreatment, it’s crucial to stay calm. Reacting aggressively to a police officer’s actions can escalate the situation, potentially leading to more severe consequences. If you take the following steps, you can strengthen your case and have a better chance of seeing that justice is served:


  • Document the incident: If possible, record the incident using your phone or ask someone nearby to record it. Documenting police behavior can provide crucial evidence if you decide to take legal action later. Note down the badge numbers, patrol car numbers, and other identifying information of the officers involved.


  • Seek medical attention: If you’re injured, seek medical attention immediately. Document all injuries and obtain a copy of your medical records. These documents will be vital if you pursue legal action.


  • Gather the contact information of witnesses: Collect contact information from witnesses who saw the incident. Their testimonies can support your case and provide a broader perspective of what occurred. Your civil rights attorney in Los Angeles will get in touch with them to obtain their statements. 


  • Preserve evidence: Keep all evidence, including recordings, photos, medical records, and witness statements, in a safe place. This evidence will be crucial for your case.


  • Never sign anything without legal counsel: If the police ask you to sign any documents, don’t do so without consulting an attorney. Signing documents without understanding their content can negatively impact your case.

How a Civil Rights Attorney Can Help

You’re likely angry and frustrated due to the mistreatment that occurred. However, if you don’t have a lawyer by your side, you might find it impossible to hold law enforcement accountable for their actions. Hiring a civil rights attorney in Los Angeles with Pointer & Buelna, LLP: Lawyers For The People can be a pivotal step in seeking justice. These are just a few of the ways we can help.


  • Legal guidance and representation: A civil rights attorney in Los Angeles will provide trusted legal advice and represent you in court if necessary. They’ll help you understand your rights and legal options.


  • Investigation and evidence collection: Experienced lawyers have the knowledge and resources to investigate cases involving civil rights violations thoroughly. They can gather additional evidence, interview witnesses, and obtain official records to build a strong case.


  • Filing a lawsuit: If you’re not satisfied with the police department’s answer to your complaint – or the department fails to act at all – a civil rights attorney in Los Angeles can file a lawsuit on your behalf. This lawsuit can be for excessive force, wrongful arrest, or violating your First Amendment rights.


  • Negotiating settlements: Civil rights violation cases are often settled out of court. An experienced attorney can negotiate a fair settlement, ensuring you receive compensation for your injuries, trauma, and other damages.


  • Protection from retaliation: Filing a complaint or lawsuit against the police can sometimes lead to retaliation. An attorney can help protect you from such actions and safeguard your rights throughout the legal process.

Let Our LA Civil Rights Lawyers Put Our Skills and Experience to Work for You

If police have mistreated you or someone you know during a protest, don’t hesitate to seek legal assistance. A civil rights attorney in Los Angeles with Pointer & Buelna, LLP: Lawyers For The People can make a significant difference in protecting your rights and helping you seek justice. Remember, standing up against police misconduct helps you and contributes to broader efforts to ensure accountability and protect civil liberties for everyone.

We have extensive experience in civil rights violation cases and a long track record of success. When you work with our firm, you’ll benefit from both. Please use our online form to schedule a free case evaluation as soon as possible.

Other Areas We Serve:

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Adanté Pointer

Pointer has received numerous awards and honors. He has been selected as the “Nations Best Advocate” by the National Bar Association, a “Superlawyer” in 2021 by Superlawyers Magazine and was recently featured as being “the Best Civil Rights Lawyer You May Not Have Heard Of” by the East Bay Express.

Years of Experience: 16+ years

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“Patrick is a fantastic lawyer. He worked hard for over a year to secure me a fair settlement and hold those who harmed me accountable. I would recommend highly recommend him and would use him again if the need ever arises. Thanks Patrick and Lawyers for the People”

Ryland Stamey

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  • Ryland Stamey

    55 years ago

    “Patrick is a fantastic lawyer. He worked hard for over a year to secure me a fair settlement and hold those who harmed me accountable. I would recommend highly recommend him and would use him again if the need ever arises. Thanks Patrick and Lawyers for the People”

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    55 years ago

    “Winner. Great job Patrick.”

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    55 years ago

    “Very friendly & the attorneys are very well rounded!”

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    55 years ago

    Great job and are reliable

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