November 9, 2022

The Standard for Police Officers and Police Brutality

Learn below about the standards for police officers and police brutality. Then, if you think your rights have been violated, please contact the civil rights attorneys at Pointer & Buelna, LLP for help. 

Over the last 10 years, many high-profile civilian deaths have occurred across the country at the hands of the police. This has spurred public scrutiny over how the police treat those they come in contact with, especially Black Americans. It is estimated that more than 190 people die annually in California through interacting with the police. Hundreds more are injured. 

What Is California Police Misconduct? 

Police misconduct or police brutality is defined in California as illegal or inappropriate behavior by the police in their jobs. This can lead to a civil rights violation. Civil rights in the United States are enshrined in federal law and the US Constitution. Some of the rights that the police may have violated include: 

  • Prohibitions against an unusual or cruel punishment
  • The right to have due process before you are deprived of your property, liberty, or life
  • Right to privacy
  • Right to free speech

These rights could be violated by various state actors in California, such as sheriffs, police officers, and federal law enforcement employees at ICE or DEA. 

What Does A False Arrest Mean? 

When the police arrest you, it intentionally restricts the freedom of movement. This deprivation will force you to stay or go to another place against your wishes. The arrest could be false if the police officer did not have the legal right to make it. A false arrest is in violation of your 4th Amendment rights. This also is called false imprisonment. If the police arrested you without probable cause or an arrest warrant, you could file a civil rights claim. 

What Does Excessive Force Mean? 

The police in California may commit misconduct by using excessive force when they arrest you. This could make your arrest unreasonable under the US Constitution. The police only can use reasonable force when they arrest you. For example, choke holds are illegal in California, so you could file a claim if they use one on you. 

What Can You Do In California After Police Misconduct? 

If you were a victim of police brutality or misconduct, you don’t have to suffer without consequence. Some rules and standards allow people to file civil rights violations lawsuits. This legal action can seek monetary damages and even could lead to an injunction that could stop law enforcement from abusing someone else. 

Police brutality and misconduct in California can occur in several ways: 

  • False arrest
  • Racial profiling
  • Perjury
  • Excessive force

If the San Francisco police violate your rights, the situation could be remedied with: 

  • The offending law enforcement officer being criminally prosecuted
  • A civil rights lawsuit that demands an injunction
  • A Bivens claim that results in financial damages
  • A complaint to internal affairs at the San Francisco police department

Contact San Francisco Civil Rights Attorney Today

Did the police violate your civil rights in San Francisco? Then, you could be eligible to file a civil lawsuit. Talk to a San Francisco civil rights attorney to learn the next steps. 

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