The thought of police brutality is incredibly frightening. In recent years, we have seen countless stories of people from all backgrounds being subjected to unjust and often deadly violence at the hands of law enforcement officers. This has led to fear among many that they or a loved one could be the next victim of an institution that seemingly answers to no one but itself. It is an issue that can be addressed in a few ways, and legal action is one of them.
If you have been the victim of police brutality and don’t know what to do next, the attorneys at Bantle & Levy can help. Our attorneys have experience helping victims of police brutality seek justice, gain compensation, and find protection from the organization that has wrongly targeted them.
What is Considered Police Brutality?
Police brutality is a serious issue that involves the use of excessive and/or unnecessary force by law enforcement officers. This often results in physical injuries, emotional trauma, and sometimes, even death.
It is a form of misconduct that further proves the public’s growing distrust of law enforcement, and ignores the basic human rights of those being policed. Unfortunately, this type of violence disproportionately affects people from marginalized backgrounds, especially people of color.
What Steps Should You Take After Experiencing Police Brutality?
If you have experienced and survived police brutality, or your loved one has been the victim of police brutality, there are steps you should take to best protect yourself and your loved ones. If you can, have a friend or family member help you complete these steps to move swiftly and gain as much protection as quickly as possible. Retaliation from the police is a real threat that many victims experience across the country, including in New York.
- Step #1: Victims of police brutality should immediately seek medical attention for any physical injuries that they have sustained, as soon as possible. Your physical health is the most important thing, especially when police brutality cases have shown how unjustly brutal law enforcement can be.
- Step #2: It is important to document the incident by taking photographs and video recordings, if possible, and obtaining witnesses’ contact information or collecting evidence from those at the scene. While witness testimony is rarely enough to prove guilty, multiple collaborating witness testimonies are a different story. Photographic and video proof that may have been collected is even more useful.
- Step #3: Contact an attorney. While you can complete this before step #2, the longer you wait, the more likely evidence is to disappear. It is best to have an attorney for the following steps in most situations.
- Step #4: Police are not known to hold each other accountable, but you still need to file a police report. This is a good time to have an attorney present. The one thing that scares police officers is an attorney who can hold their officers accountable.
- Step #5: Once your report is filed, you should contact the Civilian Complaint Review Board to have your complaint investigated further.
- Step #6: Now is the time to file a lawsuit against the offending officers and department for medical bills, property damage, and punitive damages.
Contact Bantle & Levy, Attorneys You Can Count On
Police brutality isn’t an issue that’s going to go away, and New York is a state where the issue is only exasperated by the number of police offers hired by the city. Victims of police brutality need to know how to protect themselves and respond to police brutality to ensure it doesn’t happen to them again.
Enlist an experienced lawyer who specializes in these types of cases so you can receive the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact the police brutality attorneys at Bantle & Levy today for help.