Individuals in New York who suffer an injury after a police officer crosses the line may be able to secure compensation for themselves. This compensation might be available regardless of the original reason for contact between the police officer and the injured party.

The law states that police officers are allowed to use a level of force deemed to be necessary by a reasonable person to execute an arrest. Police officers who exceed these guidelines open themselves up to claims of excessive force or police brutality.

Determining the use of excessive force by a police officer in a legal sense can be a difficult thing to do. The presence of cuts, bruises or broken bones alone is not strong enough evidence to prove police brutality in court. The court may decide that a suspect who runs or fights to avoid arrest made it necessary for the officer to use more force to arrest him or her than would have been necessary with a fully compliant individual.

A court hearing a claim of excessive force against a police officer will also consider optics. A smaller officer attempting the arrest of a much larger suspect who does not immediately cooperate is likely to receive more leeway with the court regarding the force used to complete the arrest.

Video evidence has made it easier in recent years for plaintiffs to prove allegations of excessive force. Bodycam and cellphone videos have made it much more difficult for the police officer to insist on their word against the arrested person’s, an approach that normally favors the officer.

The constitutional rights of Americans are meant to protect them from mistreatment at the hands of government actors. Police brutality is a violation of these constitutional rights. Individuals who are the victims of violence from police officers may benefit from contacting us for a free consultation.