Police Misconduct in Spokane
Protect Your Civil Rights with an Attorney from the Sweetser Law Office
One of the most infamous portrayals of police misconduct has been an example of what an abuse of power can bring. The Rodney King beating is one of the most recognizable instances of police misconduct in recent history. However, there have also been multiple instances of police misconduct in the last couple years that have made national headlines. This is a concerning phenomenon because it is one thing to suffer misconduct from a peer, but police officers are in a position of power. As a civil servant, these abuses of power should never take place.
Unfortunately, in today’s world it is important to be aware of your rights as to not become a victim of misconduct; to know your rights is to protect yourself from the possibilities of being taken advantage of by an officer in a position of power. The following are the most common abuses of power that take place between police officers and their treatment of the public.
Such instances of police misconduct include:
- False arrest and/or False Imprisonment - If an officer has probable cause that a crime is being committed, they may arrest any individual without repercussions. This becomes especially difficult for the arrested individual because if they want to seek compensation for damages as a result of the arrest they must prove that the officer acted without probable cause. An individual must prove the arresting officer violated the fourth amendment against unreasonable seizure.
- Malicious Prosecution – Malicious prosecution refers to the prosecution of an individual by an officer that has no probable cause and did so with malice intent. Like with false arrests a victim must prove the officer had no probable cause and acted against the fourteenth amendment, the right to liberty.
- Excessive/Unreasonable Force – Like with the Rodney King beatings, excessive force is apparent when it is caught on camera, something that seems to happen more and more due to the wide spread availability of technology. This charge could also include wrongful death at the hands of an officer who did not have a cause. The officer exerting said force must perceive harm would come to them or another individual as a result of their in-action. In addition, an officer’s intentions must not be malicious, but in line with the greater good.
Legal Defenses Used Against Misconduct
In terms of civil rights, many attorneys move toward the forty-second U.S. code, section 1983, which is in connection with the civil rights act of 1871. This legal code is in direct response to oppression brought on by private groups such as the Klu Klux Klan (KKK) and governmental powers. Essentially, the law states that any authority cannot deprive an individual of their constitutional or federal rights in accordance with their state’s law.
If you believe you have been deprived of your rights in relation to a police officer’s misconduct of you or the law it is extremely important you contact an attorney immediately. Time can be a factor with such cases in terms of statute of limitations and witnesses to the crime that was committed. Our Spokane attorneys have over 35 years of experience and can offer you a defense focused on your civil rights.