The subject of police brutality has reached a fever pitch recently as exhibited by the riots in Ferguson, Missouri and most recently, Baltimore, Maryland. While the majority of policemen are hardworking individuals who put their lives on the line day in and out, the dubious actions of a few have placed all police officers under the light of scrutiny on a national stage. The damage that reckless and negligent actions taken by the few has a rippled effect and makes it much more difficult for other officers to gain or maintain the trust of the public and must be met with due punishment in criminal and civil terms.
When it comes to police misconduct in Chicago, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is committed to holding officers and departments accountable for their acts. Our office is committed to providing the representation needed for individuals and families to receive the maximum compensation allowable under Illinois law for civil claims related to police abuse. Contact our Chicago police misconduct attorneys for a free review of your case.
An Abuse of Power is a Threat to Community Safety and Trust
There is a tremendous amount of authority placed in the hands of the police force to enforce the laws of the land and to protect those who depend on them in times of need. Sometimes this power becomes corruptive and police succumb to the temptation to use their authority for their own purposes or interpret the power they wield as an excuse to enact their own version of justice. It is very important to understand that the police are bound to the very laws that they enforce and can and should be held to account when they’ve broken them.
Police brutality is most commonly associated with physical violence and the excessive use of force but other cases of brutality can include additional abuses of power such as any of the following.
- Illegal or unrequired searches— citizens have the right to deny permission of an officer to conduct a search and unless the officer has probable cause, these wishes must be respected. In extreme cases, victims may be subjected to illegal strip searches for the purpose of humiliating or intimidating the victims.
- Racial profiling— despite the desire for us to believe we have made great strides toward change, racism is still alive and well and when racial prejudice motivates the actions of a police officer, he or she may be held accountable.
- Extortion, intimidation and coercion— sometimes police officers will use the threat of violence or arrest to conduct illegal activities or to scare victims into compliance. These tactics are illegal and must be brought to light in order to reestablish trust and integrity to the police force as a whole.
- Sexual assault— abusive and corrupt officers may even use their position of authority to force victims into sexual situations. When this occurs, the offending officer should be tried as any criminal would be and his or her employing department held accountable.
- Physical Abuse- physical abuse is never acceptable-- regardless of the officers level of frustration.
- Shootings- Officers are only entitled to draw and use their weapons in very specific circumstances. When officers shoot and injure or kill someone without justification, the victim or his family can pursue a civil compensation case.
Protecting Your Rights and Reporting Wrongdoing for Abuse Caused by the Chicago Police Department
If you are the victim of Chicago police brutality, you may feel hopeless, but there are plenty of things that you can do to ensure that the officer who wronged you is held accountable. First, gather any evidence that you can, regardless of whether you believe it has any significance. Take pictures of any physical marks, bruises and injuries and of the crime scene itself. Take note of any witnesses and whether anyone was able to capture the incident on video or record what was said.
The Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are passionately dedicated to representing those who have been unjustly wronged and we will work tirelessly to use the evidence and leads that you provide us to establish and prove your case while representing your legal and personal interests with compassion and respect. If you feel you have been the victim of police brutality, contact us right away to speak with an attorney about your rights and to arrange a free consultation where you can explore your legal options in more depth while receiving the answers to any questions you may have about how to pursue a claim against those responsible.
Our attorneys are happy to serve anyone who has been harmed due to another person’s negligent actions regardless of financial situation, which is why we only collect payment for our services once we have successfully secured payment on our clients’ behalves. If we fail to do this for you, our services will be free of charge.