Police misconduct can be defined as the inappropriate actions taken by police in connection with their official duties. These actions can lead to a miscarriage of justice and will often involve discrimination. Some common forms of police misconduct include: excessive use of physical or deadly force, physical or verbal harassment, discriminatory arrest, and selective enforcement of the law. Police misconduct also encompasses corruption, which is the abuse of police authority for personal gains. Typical forms of police corruption include: selling drugs, receiving stolen goods, extortion, and bribery.
Police departments have attempted to safeguard against misconduct and corruption by implementing codes of conduct and training policies for new hires. Unfortunately, it is impossible to monitor every police officer and as a result, misconduct will still occur. For more information about police misconduct, please visit The CATO Institute's National Police Misconduct Reporting Project.
Our Mississippi injury lawyers have handled several police misconduct claims in the past few years. Police misconduct encompasses a wide variety of cases, each involving a law enforcement officer physically or emotionally harming an individual. Additionally, a person can often feel like they have no form of recourse if they have been involved in a case of police misconduct. Common police misconduct cases handled by our office include:
- False Arrest: This is the claim most often asserted against police officers. Persons often claim a violation of the 4th Amendment right against unreasonable seizure. Police are not allowed to arrest an individual unless they have a warrant (for a felony charge) or a misdemeanor is committed in their presence. In order to prevail on a claim of false arrest, the victim must show that the police officer lacked probable cause for the arrest.
- Malicious Prosecution: This claim asserts that the police violated the victim’s 14th Amendment right to liberty. To win, the victim must show 4 things:
- The police officer commenced a criminal proceeding
- The proceeding ended with no conviction
- There was no probable cause; AND
- The proceeding was brought with malice towards the victim.
- Excessive Force: These claims tend to receive the most publicity because they involve serious bodily injury or death. Deciding whether the police officer’s use of force was excessive will depend on an evaluation of all of the surrounding circumstances.
Cases involving police misconduct require thorough research and investigation. These cases require time and dedication as well as a commit to protecting the rights of our clients. At Coxwell & Associates, our civil rights attorneys have the legal expertise necessary to successfully represent clients in police misconduct claims. If you are a Jackson, Mississippi area resident and have experienced what you believe was an incident of police misconduct, contact us today.
For years, Coxwell & Associates has represented clients in civil rights, police brutality, and police misconduct claims. In 1999, for example, we secured a multi-million dollar verdict in an instance where several police officers choked a young man to death. These cases can sometimes be difficult to litigate, but our attorneys have the knowledge and expertise to help victims of police brutality receive the compensation they deserve.
If you are interested in a free case evaluation, contact injury lawyers of Coxwell & Associates to speak with our police misconduct, police brutality, and civil rights attorneys in Jackson, Mississippi today. We look forward to hearing from you.
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