Atlanta Police Misconduct Lawyer
Police officers have a duty to protect and serve the communities in which they have jurisdiction. Unfortunately, police misconduct can – and does – occur more often than you think. Police officers can commit serious civil rights violations, or act negligently or with malicious intent. If you recently became a victim of police misconduct, you may be able to collect compensation for any harm you suffered.
The lawyers at ChancoSchiffer Law, LLC are committed to holding police officers accountable for the harm they cause to others. Contact us today to schedule a free review of your legal options.
Police Misconduct in Atlanta: A Matter of State and Federal Law
Matters of police misconduct can involve federal and state laws. Often, police misconduct becomes a matter of constitutional rights, so the victim may file a claim with the federal government. There are several laws that govern police conduct, but some of the most commonly cited include:
- The Fourth Amendment, use of excessive force. The Bill of Rights outlines the most fundamental protections available to Americans. The Fourth Amendment strictly prohibits government use of unreasonable search and seizure. Use of excessive force is a common example of an unlawful seizure under the constitution.
- The Fourth Amendment, denial of medical care. Recent examples of court cases involving the Fourth Amendment show the denying of an injured person medical care, even under arrest, can be a violation of his or her Fourth Amendment rights. In Jacquez v. the City of San Jose, et. al, the Courts held that failing to take an injured person to a medical treatment center was a violation of his or her constitutional rights.
The other statute that informs police misconduct cases is Section 1983 of U.S. Code 42. This federal law states that no peace officer can deny any resident or citizen his or her constitutional or federal rights.
Common Examples of Police Misconduct in Atlanta
Many forms of police misconduct can lead to a civil claim, but some are more common than others:
False Arrest/False Imprisonment
False arrest is arguably the most common claim asserted against police. People who claim false imprisonment hold that there was no justification for their arrest or subsequent time in custody (false imprisonment). A police officer must have probable cause that a person committed a crime in order for the arrest to be reasonable. When a police officer exceeds his or her authority to arrest or detain a person, it is a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
In malicious prosecution, the plaintiff asserts that an officer wrongly denied him or her a liberty outlined in the Fourteenth Amendment. Proving malicious prosecution requires the following elements:
- That a police officer started a criminal proceeding
- That the proceeding did not lead to a conviction
- There was no probable cause for the proceeding
- The proceeding was borne out of malice for the victim
Excessive force claims often arise when a victim experiences serious physical injury or dies in an interaction with the police. The courts will determine whether the police officer’s actions were reasonable based on facts and circumstances surrounding the case. The Fourth Amendment prohibits use of excessive force, and a violation can lead to serious consequences.
Failure to Intervene
Finally, officers have a duty to protect those they serve from the constitutional violations and misconduct of other officers. A police officer who witnesses a constitutional violation but does not intervene may be guilty of police misconduct.
Your Police Misconduct Claim
If you believe you have grounds for a police misconduct claim, contact the attorneys at ChancoSchiffer Law, LLC as soon as possible. We’re committed to protecting your constitutional rights and holding negligent police officers accountable for their actions.
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