Police brutality is a serious civil rights violation that may cause life-altering injuries. Legal actions can hold law enforcement accountable and help victims obtain compensation. Our attorneys at Shealey Law Firm know how to handle police assault cases in Columbia and surrounding areas in South Carolina.
If you or a loved one underwent police brutality, you can contact our law firm in Columbia, SC to discuss your options for seeking damages and defending civil rights.
How Assault by a Police Officer Can Happen
Although the law permits police to employ force in some situations, excessive violence without justification is illegal.
Police can act to protect themselves and others in life-threatening scenarios. It is also legal for them to use reasonable force when apprehending someone resisting arrest.
However, violence must not be disproportionate or occur for a prolonged time period.
Furthermore, police officers should not harm individuals acting in compliance.
Types of police misconduct
Misconduct can take various forms, from verbal harassment to physical violence. Police sometimes use excessive force when attempting to restrain someone. They might strike people or handle individuals too aggressively. Often, these incidents happen during or immediately after arrests.
Neck restraints and chokeholds can be particularly harmful and result in restraint asphyxia. Many of the worst instances of police violence involve firearms, which can lead to unjustified shootings and catastrophic harm.
In addition, a physical assault by a police officer might involve non-lethal weapons, such as batons and tasers. Misuse of tools like handcuffs can occur. Failure to obtain medical care for an injured person in police custody is also a serious form of misconduct.
What To Do if You Are Assaulted by a Police Officer
If a police officer assaults you or a loved one, you should prioritize safety and health. It is also important to take photos or videos documenting any visible signs of injury, such as cuts and bruises. You can record your account of the incident as well.
Contacting an attorney experienced with civil rights law after a police assault can help you explore your legal options.
Seek medical care
Assault by a police officer can cause severe injuries, so it is important to seek prompt medical attention. A doctor can help you or your loved one get treatment and document any injuries. It is a good idea to see a healthcare professional for injuries that impair movement or cause ongoing pain.
Collecting information relevant to your case can help you obtain justice after a police brutality incident. You should document the names and badge numbers of all officers who witnessed or participated in the assault. It is beneficial to get the contact information from any civilians who saw the event as well.
Consider speaking to nearby businesses and homeowners in the area who could have security cameras that filmed the assault. You might also need to work with your civil rights attorney to prevent the police from deleting video footage obtained by cruiser and body cameras.
Protect your rights
Assault by a police officer not only causes physical harm but also violates your civil rights. Illegal searches, unjust arrests and discriminatory behavior are not constitutional. Furthermore, police assaults against peaceful protestors hinder the right to free speech and expression. If officers assaulted you or a loved one, you can hold the police accountable for their behavior by filing a civil rights lawsuit.
Injuries caused by police assaults can result in costly treatments, physical pain and increased hardship. You or your loved one could experience difficulty moving or completing actions.
Trauma and emotional distress can also occur. These symptoms can cause challenges in the workplace and at home.
A lawsuit can help you gain financial damages to help compensate for medical bills and lost wages, as well as the suffering you and your family endured after the assault.
When To Contact a South Carolina Civil Rights Violation Attorney
Discussing your case with a lawyer as soon as possible is well-advised. You have several legal options, including suing individual officers and the police department, after an assault by a police officer.
Our attorneys at Shealey Law Firm in Columbia, South Carolina, can help you take on law enforcement and fight for justice after experiencing police brutality. Brian and Luke Shealey have years of experience litigating civil rights cases at the state and federal levels. You can call or contact us online to schedule a consultation today.