Protecting Your Rights from Duluth Police Misconduct
Though it was not even close to the first incident of its kind, the unjust killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers sparked large protests against police misconduct and brutality in Minnesota and across more than 150 American cities. Unfortunately, in many instances those protests led to even more police misconduct and wrongful arrests — the very behaviors being protested against.
Although the vast majority of police officers genuinely want to protect and serve the public, using the tools at their disposal to bolster safety, a number of incidents of shootings and police brutality underscore a hard truth: there are also officers that abuse their power and rely on unnecessary force and verbal threats to get their way. Worse, even well-meaning officers can make terrible, life-shattering decisions.
Regardless, police misconduct in any form is a violation of the law and your constitutional rights. If you or someone you care about has been the victim of police misconduct, you should hold them liable for the serious harm they caused. Get in touch with the legal team at LaCourse, Poole & Envall, P.A. to seek justice against police misconduct by filing a police brutality claim.
What Constitutes Police Misconduct in Minnesota?
Police officers are not above the law. Like the rest of us, they are subject to legal consequences for breaking it. Under Minnesota and federal law, you are guaranteed certain rights, including freedom from excessive force, freedom from false arrest, and freedom from unreasonable search and seizures.
Police misconduct comes in many forms, but at its core, it involves the violation of the constitutional rights of the people they are supposed to be protecting. Below, we have explained some of the most common examples of police misconduct in Duluth.
Also called “false arrest,” “false imprisonment,” and “unlawful arrest,” a wrongful arrest is a violation of your Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable seizure. Police can only legally arrest you if they have probable cause to believe you have committed a crime. To prove a false arrest claim, you must show that the arresting officer did not have sufficient cause to believe you had committed a crime.
Because excessive force can involve serious injury or death, these types of claims typically get the most attention from the media. To prove excessive force, you need to demonstrate that the officer’s use of force was unreasonable considering the facts and circumstances.
This type of police misconduct occurs when police officers target someone as the suspect of a crime because of their race or skin color.
Failure to Intervene
Police officers have a legal responsibility to protect you from police misconduct at the hands of fellow officers. If a police officer witnesses another officer violating your civil rights and does nothing, you may be able to hold them liable for failure to intervene.
This type of police misconduct occurs when an officer unlawfully deprives you of your Fourth Amendment right to freedom. You may have a malicious prosecution claim if your arresting officer commenced a criminal proceeding out of feelings of malice towards you, rather than probable cause.
Witness tampering occurs when police officers try to coerce a witness to make a false statement, withhold certain information, or to not appear in court.
If an officer uses surveillance methods or technology to monitor your activity without the legal authority to do so, this may constitute unwarranted surveillance.
Tragically, police-initiated sexual harassment, abuse, and assault does occur. No matter who does it, sexual misconduct is a crime and a serious violation of your civil rights.
These are only a few examples of the many different types of police misconduct in Minnesota. If you believe you may have been a violence of any kind of police misconduct, you should speak with an attorney to learn more about your options so that you can determine the best way to build a strong case.
What to Do If You Are a Victim of Police Misconduct in Minnesota
When a police officer’s intentional, negligent, or reckless conduct violates your constitutional rights, the experience can be traumatizing. Whether the misconduct was verbal or physical, police misconduct can have a lasting impact on your physical and emotional wellbeing.
As a victim of police misconduct, it is your duty to take action to help prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. Reporting police misconduct is a critical step in protecting your rights and seeking justice. However, it is important to remain as calm as possible during and immediately after an incident.
If you are the victim of police misconduct, carefully record what happened in your own words. Try to include details like the physical appearance of the officer, their badge number, and their car number.
Next, look for an attorney who specializes in police misconduct cases in Minnesota. Your attorney can help you determine whether or not you have a strong claim and advise you on your next moves. With the help of a knowledgeable lawyer, you may be able to obtain compensation for medical bills, lost wages, overall pain and suffering, and more.
With a fair settlement, you can begin to heal and move forward with your life after this traumatic incident. Moreover, you can hold the officer in question responsible for their actions and help protect your community from future misconduct.
Contact LaCourse, Poole & Envall, P.A. for a Free Police Misconduct Consultation in Duluth
Pursuing a police misconduct case can be intimidating. Not only have your constitutional rights been violated, those responsible are backed by a powerful institution with a history of protecting its own.
When speaking out against police misconduct, you need a fierce lawyer on your side with experience in police misconduct claims. At LaCourse, Poole & Envall, P.A., our dedicated personal injury attorneys know exactly what it takes to help you seek justice. We will confidently confront the government to ensure you receive the settlement you deserve. If they are not willing to pay a fair amount in damages, we are not afraid to take your case to court.
If you have been a victim of police misconduct, contact LaCourse, Poole & Envall, P.A. to speak with one of our personal injury lawyers.Schedule a free consultation to learn more about your options and take the first step toward pursuing justice and making your community safer for everyone.