Orlando Police Brutality & Misconduct Lawyer
Understanding Police Brutality & Your Rights
Police brutality is a term commonly used to describe all types of misconduct carried out by law enforcement. All individuals, including U.S. citizens and others, have certain rights; police brutality and misconduct constitute violations of one’s civil rights, and offending officers and other liable parties can be held accountable.
A civil police brutality lawsuit is separate from any criminal proceedings that may or may not occur following officer misconduct or wrongdoing. Like a typical personal injury claim, a police brutality lawsuit allows individuals who have suffered harm at the hands of a police officer or law enforcement agency to seek financial compensation for their damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.
At NeJame Law, we believe in protecting the rights of individuals and holding law enforcement officials and agencies responsible when they negligently, wrongfully, or intentionally inflict injury and harm. If you or someone you love has had their rights violated, our Orlando police brutality lawyers are ready to stand up for you.
Examples of Police Brutality & Misconduct
Perhaps more now than ever before, police brutality and misconduct have been thrust into the spotlight in the United States. However, negligent and wrongful conduct by police officers and official agencies has existed globally for centuries.
Police brutality and misconduct take many forms, including but not limited to:
- Excessive Force: Officially, “police brutality” refers to the use of excessive and/or unreasonable force by police officers and other law enforcement officials. Currently, there is no set definition of what constitutes “excessive” or “unreasonable” force. Rather, victims of police brutality have the burden of proof in demonstrating that the use of force by an officer during an encounter (including arrest) was improper, extreme, and/or unwarranted given the circumstances.
- False Arrest: False arrest occurs when law enforcement officials arrest an individual without probable cause and/or sufficient evidence. This constitutes a violation of one’s Fourth Amendment rights, which protects individuals from unreasonable search and seizure. It can be very difficult to prove that one was the victim of false arrest, as there are many circumstances in which a police officer can argue that they had reason to suspect criminal activity.
- Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse and assault by police officers and other law enforcement officials can take many forms and may occur in a variety of settings. While law enforcement officers are permitted by law to conduct pat-downs, any form of unwanted sexual touching or sexual activity/intercourse without consent constitutes sexual abuse or assault. This includes everything from rape to coercion to demanding sexual favors in exchange for leniency.
- Failure to Intervene: Law enforcement officers are required to intervene when they observe a fellow official violating a person’s constitutional rights. To be held liable, the officer who failed to intervene must have been aware of the constitutional violation and knowingly failed to take action to stop the violation when there was opportunity to do so. Similar to other types of police misconduct, proving failure to intervene—and recovering compensation for resulting injuries—can be very difficult.
- Deliberate Indifference to Substantial Risk of Harm: Law enforcement officials and agencies may not deliberately ignore or be indifferent to substantial risk of harm. This means that they may not ignore circumstances that pose a serious risk to individuals in custody, including medical conditions and potential assault by fellow inmates. To prove that an officer or agency exhibited deliberate indifference, one must show that they knew of the risk yet failed to take reasonable measures to prevent harm/injury from occurring.
If you believe your civil rights were violated by an arresting officer, sheriff, or any other law enforcement official or agency, reach out to our police misconduct attorneys in Orlando right away. It is absolutely critical that you act fast, as proving police brutality and misconduct is extremely difficult. You need a legal team that knows the law and is ready to aggressively fight for you and your rights.
What to Do If You Are the Victim of Police Brutality or Misconduct
If you were injured due to excessive force, harmed while in custody, or if your loved one died due to police brutality or misconduct, the first thing you should do is contact a lawyer. In Florida, law enforcement agencies vigorously defend allegations of misconduct and abuse; it is extremely important that you equip yourself with a legal team that knows how to navigate these types of cases and advocate for you throughout the process.
When you contact NeJame Law, we can assist you in the following ways:
- Helping you obtain prompt medical and/or psychological attention, treatment, and care
- Identifying the police officer or law enforcement agency in question
- Gathering and preserving evidence, such as bodycam footage, police reports, and more
- Obtaining witness testimony and evidence, including cellphone camera footage, surveillance videos, and eyewitness accounts
- Filing an official citizen’s complaint with the internal affairs division of the appropriate police department
- Handling administrative issues, including completing and submitting necessary paperwork
- Preparing your case for litigation and, if necessary, representing you at trial
After experiencing the trauma of police brutality or misconduct, victims should be allowed to focus on getting the necessary care they need to heal. Our Orlando police brutality and misconduct attorneys can handle the legal aspects of your civil claim and build a powerful case built on evidence.
Act Quickly Before You Lose Your Right to File a Lawsuit
The sooner you act, the better. Not only is it important to act quickly
to preserve evidence, but you also have a limited time to file a lawsuit
according to Florida personal injury statutes. There are no specific statutes
of limitations regarding police brutality or misconduct, so these cases
generally fall under the state’s four-year statute of limitations
for personal injury claims.
However, you should also note that the law requires you to file a formal notice of claim informing the appropriate parties of your intent to bring a claim or lawsuit at least six months before a lawsuit can be filed. This notice of claim must include a description of your grievance and/or allegations against the appropriate party. Following the filing of your complaint, the jurisdiction will conduct an investigation into the incident.
Contact NeJame Law for Help with Your Police Brutality Claim
Do not wait until it is too late. If you or someone you love was the victim of police brutality or misconduct, reach out to NeJame Law today to discuss your legal rights and options with a member of our team. We provide free initial case evaluations and contingency fees, meaning you do not pay any out-of-pocket expenses when you hire our firm. Instead, our attorneys only collect fees at the successful conclusion of your case. If we do not recover a settlement or verdict on your behalf, you do not pay.