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July 9, 2024

What Amendment Does Police Brutality Violate?

To know what amendment does police brutality violate is necessary to understand that the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures. While it does not explicitly mention police brutality, it does provide safeguards against the use of excessive force by law enforcement. The Fourth Amendment states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.”

Anyone who is a victim of a violation should discuss their rights with our police brutality attorneys in California.

Does the Fourth Amendment Protect Me from Excessive Force?

In situations where police officers use excessive force, it can be argued that such force constitutes an unreasonable seizure under the Fourth Amendment. Excessive force refers to force that is beyond what is necessary to apprehend a suspect or maintain public safety. 

Examples of excessive force may include unnecessary physical violence, the use of tasers or stun guns without justification, or the use of deadly force when there is no immediate threat. Excessive force does not always have to involve physical violence or aggressive tactics. For example, when police in Ontario, Canada, left an unarmed 6-year-old Black girl in handcuffs and ankle shackles for 28 minutes, this was grounds for a lawsuit. 

How Is the Fourth Amendment’s Prohibition on Excessive Force Enforced?

When someone has experienced police brutality, they can pursue civil and possibly criminal legal action against the responsible police officer and his or her law enforcement agency. Be prepared with solid, reliable evidence, such as witness statements, photographs, videos, and medical records. 

Primarily, the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on excessive force is enforced through a lawsuit filed under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act. This law allows individuals to seek damages for civil rights violations committed by government officials, including law enforcement officers. 

Police brutality, including excessive force, is a civil rights violation, to be clear. Furthermore, to successfully pursue a Section 1983 claim, your California police brutality lawyer needs to establish that the police officer used excessive force, and the force was objectively unreasonable under the circumstances. 

Fifth Amendment: Protection Against Self-Incrimination

The Fifth Amendment states: “No person…shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” This means, for example, that people have the right to remain silent and not answer any questions that may incriminate themselves while interacting with police or prosecutors. If your Fifth Amendment rights have been violated during an encounter with law enforcement, including police investigators, one of the reputable, fierce California civil rights lawyers from Pointer & Buelna can help.

Eighth Amendment: Protection Against Cruel and Unusual Punishment

The Eighth Amendment prohibits the infliction of cruel and unusual punishment. While this amendment primarily applies to incarcerated people, when the police force used is grossly disproportionate to the perceived offense or violates human decency, an Eighth Amendment violation may be triggered.

We Are California Police Brutality Lawyers

Now that you know

what amendment does police brutality violate, don’t hesitate to contact the California police brutality attorneys at Pointer & Buelna, LLP if you have suffered police misconduct or a civil rights violation. We will fight back for you—your rights matter. Contact us now to set up a free case review.

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