Denver Excessive Force / Police Misconduct Lawyer
Police officers and their superiors are oath-bound to protect and serve the people in their jurisdictions. While the vast majority of police officers are honorable individuals committed to making their communities safer places, some police officers unfortunately abuse their authority and violate private citizens’ civil rights. Anyone who has experienced excessive force at the hands of police in the Denver area or suspect police misconduct has caused them to suffer injuries or other damages should speak with the personal injury attorneys at Bryan & Terrill.
Our attorneys and legal team understand how difficult it is to sue a police force for any type of police misconduct, and we will work closely with potential clients to weigh the pros and cons of pursuing a civil action against the police. Unlike most other civil actions, filing suit against the police requires navigating several special legal protections and filing requirements.
Understanding Police Misconduct
In any type of civil action concerning police misconduct, the plaintiff in the case will have the burden of proving how the defendant’s actions were excessive or unacceptable for the circumstances. In cases of excessive force or police brutality, the plaintiff must prove that the officers’ actions went beyond appropriate boundaries for the situation. Police officers may legally use force when making an arrest, and may use deadly force when faced with a fatal threat or threat of great bodily harm. Unlike most other civil actions, the defendant in police brutality cases will also have a burden of proof. He or she must prove that the action taken in the situation was justified. In most cases, a plaintiff must provide “clear and convincing evidence” that a police officer’s actions were excessive.
Depending on the situation, a plaintiff suing for police misconduct may need to contend with immunity. Most government agencies have immunity from civil actions by private citizens under the 11th Amendment. Ultimately, the facts of the case and the jurisdiction in which the incident took place will determine whether the defendant is immune from civil action. Some actions that have no protection under government immunity include:
- False arrest, or arrest without probable cause.
- Racial profiling.
- Malicious prosecution.
- Excessive or unreasonable force.
Succeeding in a Civil Case Against Police
A plaintiff in a police misconduct case must be able to prove how the defendant violated his or her civil rights to be able to sue. This could include proving a police officer violated the plaintiff’s 4th Amendment protection against illegal searches and seizures. Most lawsuits against police officers are very difficult to win without the right attorney.
The legal team at Bryan & Terrill wants Denver citizens to know they can rely on us for legal representation in even the most complex of circumstances. Suing a police officer or police department is not a simple task, and it often requires establishing precedent from previous rulings and extensive evidence collection. Contact the Bryan & Terrill Law team today to schedule a consultation about your police misconduct case. We can help you better understand the process of suing for your damages and have a better idea of what to expect from a civil suit.