The police in the United States are given broad powers to carry out their duty of keeping the populace safe and free from harm. The Constitution and other laws place restraints on what they can and cannot do to enforce the law. Unfortunately, as the videotaped beating of Rodney King and other incidents show, the police sometimes go too far and end up violating the rights of citizens.
When the rights of citizens are violated by police, the victim may have some form of recourse available to him or her through either federal or state laws. One of the main purposes of the civil rights laws is to protect citizens from abuse by government agencies, including the police. Various civil rights laws allow for the coverage of attorney fees, as well as for the collection of compensation and punitive damages as incentives for injured parties to enforce their rights.
Police misconduct officially refers to objectionable or illegal actions of police officers in connection with their official duties. Frequently, this misconduct leads to a miscarriage of justice. Types of misconduct include false confession, false arrest, falsified evidence, intimidation, police brutality, police corruption, political repression, racial profiling, sexual abuse, and surveillance abuse.
Being stopped and questioned by police in connection with a crime is always an unsettling experience. If the officer performs his or her job correctly, though, there should not be a violation of the suspect’s rights. Civil rights remedies come into play only after willful police conduct that violates an individual’s constitutional rights.
If you have been a victim of police misconduct, contact the Wausau police misconduct lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at 1-800-248-0171 to discuss your situation and to determine your legal options.