police misconduct - policeman's tool belt

Police Misconduct

When the badge is tarnished: Police who abuse citizens are subject to penalties

Police officers do a great deal to protect and serve our communities and protect residents from harm. But there are a few disappointing times when an officer crosses the line and actually becomes a law-breaker themselves.

When an officer violates the constitutional rights of a citizen that act amounts to police misconduct. This conduct can subject the officer and the police department to civil and criminal penalties.

A common form of police misconduct is when an officer physically abuses a citizen in the conduct of duty.

If you are the victim of police misconduct call Cochran, Kroll & Associates at 866-868-3779 and ask for Terry Cochran or Eileen Kroll. Both possess the special knowledge needed to make sure all necessary evidence has been gathered and to determine what legal action should be taken to protect your interests.

Police misconduct can be both civil and criminal.

Civil police misconduct

In the area of civil misconduct, it is unlawful for a police officer to engage in conduct that deprives a person of their constitutional rights. The victim must, however, show that the act constitutes a pattern and is not a single isolated incident.

If your constitutional rights are being deprived, the courts can grant an injunction ordering the officer to stop the misconduct against you.

A police officer also is prohibited form engaging in discriminatory practices. To be a victim of discrimination, it must be shown that there is a pattern of discriminatory misconduct rather than merely a single incident.

Examples of civil discriminatory misconduct include: harassment; racial slurs; unjustified arrests; discriminatory traffic stops; and coercive sexual contact.

Criminal police misconduct

A law enforcement officer, in certain instances, can be found guilty of a criminal act for depriving anyone of his/her constitutional rights. There is no requirement that the police misconduct be done in a manner to discriminate.

Examples of criminal police misconduct include: use of excessive force; sexual assault; intentional false arrest; intentional fabrication of evidence.

If you think your rights have been violated by the police hire an attorney for advice. When you and your attorney agree a violation of rights has occurred, you should file a complaint with the police department of internal affairs. It is generally a requirement that you exhaust all administrative remedies before filing a lawsuit.

After reporting to the police department, report the misconduct to the U.S. Department of Justice or to the U.S. Attorneys office. Cochran, Kroll & Associates attorneys are experienced in dealing with federal officials and possess the expertise to properly report misconduct in a correct and timely manner.

After you have reported the violations, you may then be permitted to file a lawsuit against the officers and the police department.

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When things go wrong

There might be a statute of limitations on your case, meaning a lawsuit must be filed before a certain date.

If you feel the police have violated your rights, you should immediately speak to the attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates who have the skills, legal knowledge and experience needed to protect you and will seek to win payment for your injuries, expenses, and loss.

An attorney will lead you through the steps needed to recover actual damages and may even assist in punitive damages being awarded.

Levels of responsibility

Actual damages can be awarded for medical bills, lost income, funeral expenses, pain and suffering, mental stress, permanent disability and similar hardships.

Punitive damages, above and beyond those actually incurred by the victim, are intended to punish the guilty party for reckless or inappropriate behavior. Punitive damages also can function as a deterrent for others.

An attorney can collect damages for citizens who have been subject to police misconduct. Cochran, Kroll & Associates will seek payments for expenses resulting from the misconduct, and ensure justice by pursuing punitive damages.

Cochran, Kroll & Associates devotes its practice to representing individuals who are the victims of police misconduct, vehicle accidents, dog bites, burn victims, work place injuries, nursing home abuse, or medical malpractice. Essentially, if a person has been involved in any tragedy involving negligence and requiring compensation, Cochran, Kroll & Associates will provide whatever legal services are required.

Above All Else, Seek Justice

Victims should not hesitate from filing a lawsuit for fear of filing a frivolous lawsuit. That is propaganda created by the insurance industry. Let your attorney, not an insurance agent, determine what’s frivolous and when justice should be pursued.

In America, a jury makes a decision on damages after hearing all of the evidence. The jury award is designed to compensate the injury victim. A fundamental right of all Americans is a trial by jury, allowing our fellow citizens to hear our case and to make a decision. Do not give up any of your rights as a citizen!

Statutes of limitation limit the length of time you have to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file a lawsuit within that time period you may forever be denied the justice due you. If you are a victim of police misconduct, it is critical that you seek legal help quickly.

Let Cochran, Kroll & Associates fight for your rights. There is no obligation for case evaluation and no fee is charged unless a recovery is made.

The Law Offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. is dedicated to representing individuals and families who have suffered catastrophic losses as a result of injuries, disabilities and death. The firm does not represent insurance companies or corporations but instead bases its practice upon representing individuals and families.