Central Coast Police Brutality Attorney Serving San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Monterey
Police misconduct is any behavior by a sworn officer of the law that:
- Violates departmental policies
- Violates a suspect’s constitutional rights
- Is itself a violation of the law
The misconduct can be criminal, civil, or procedural. Anyone can become a victim of police misconduct, but members of racial minorities are at a higher risk. Police misconduct, especially when it involves physical or psychological brutality, can undermine the public’s respect and trust of law enforcement and can expose individual officers and police departments to litigation in which they may be found liable for victims’ damages that results from the behavior. If you or a loved one have been in this situation, call a San Luis Obispo police brutality attorney from The Basile Law Firm immediately to discuss your entire case. We handle cases in Santa Barbara, Monterey, and San Luis Obispo.
Physical Police Brutality
Police are armed, but they are armed for their own protection and to help them preserve the peace, not to perpetuate unnecessary violence. Using reasonable force when attempting to arrest an uncooperative suspect who is physically resisting may fall within their authority, but they are not authorized to use more than the minimum amount of force needed to accomplish the arrest.
Under no circumstances is physical violence by police justified as a response to any verbal utterance, regardless of whether it is crude or disrespectful. On occasion, a police officer will attempt to “beat respect” into a person being questioned or detained or use violence when attempting to coerce a confession, but it is not within the scope of a police officer’s authority to use force or brutality beyond what is needed to make the arrest. Physical violence should never be used by a police officer to punish, coerce, or intimidate, or they can he held liable for any physical or psychological damages the victim suffers.
Physical injuries include, among others, skin abrasions/lacerations, bone fractures, asphyxiation, nerve damage, contusions, concussions, skull fractures, brain damage, paralysis, organ damage, and death.
Psychological brutality, including humiliation, threats, verbal intimidation, unnecessary strip searching, and using racial slurs can also cause serious and permanent psychological disabilities, including anxiety, paranoia, stress, phobias, insomnia, anorexia, depression, Acute Stress Disorder (ASD), and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
How Often Does Police Brutality Occur?
More than we’d like to think. A research study called the National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project on Police Brutality found that between April 2009 and June 2010, nearly 6000 incidents of police brutality were reported, resulting in 383 deaths. And this may be just the tip of the iceberg. Many incidents go unreported.
Attorney Jude Basile is a Central California injury attorney who is passionate about protecting the civil rights of American citizens who have been brutalized or wrongfully arrested by the police. There is no place for heavy-handed police tactics in a democracy, and Jude Basile is committed to holding those police officers who exceed their authority accountable for the injuries they cause when they use unnecessary force, coercion, or outright brutality.
Examples of Police Brutality
What constitutes police brutality? Generally, it is any unwarranted use of physical force or punishment that is not needed to perform the task the officer is attempting in the line of duty. These are some examples of police misconduct for which police may be held liable if they cause injuries:
- Using a taser without cause when the suspect has done nothing to pose a physical threat; tasering a handcuffed suspect; shocking a suspect repeatedly with a taser
- Using pepper spray unnecessarily or spraying it directly into a person’s nose or mouth; spraying pepper spray at a person who is already having trouble breathing
- Firing tear gas or rubber bullets at random into a crowd during a non-violent protest
- Commanding a police dog to attack a suspect who is not threatening anyone or physically resisting arrest
- Hitting, slapping, kicking, tripping, slugging, or shoving a person who has already been handcuffed, so as to cause injuries
- Putting a suspect in a chokehold
- Beating a person who is not resisting with a baton, or using a baton to hit a person in the head, where it can cause permanent brain damage; striking a person with enough force to break bones or cause a serious injury
- Using verbal intimidation and threats
- Using violence in an attempt to coerce a confession from a suspect
- Sexually assaulting a suspect
- Performing a strip search without good cause as a means of humiliation
It is important to understand that a particular action taken by a police officer may be within the guidelines set by the officer’s department and yet still be an unconstitutional violation of your civil rights. This may create legal complications that can only be handled by very experienced San Luis Obispo police brutality attorney who is well-versed in constitutional law.
Defending Your Civil Rights
If you or someone close to you has been subjected to this type of police misconduct, you are invited to consult with Jude Basile at The Basile Law Firm to learn the options that might be available to you. Jude will listen carefully to your story, ask pertinent questions, and conduct his own investigation into the matter, aimed at finding evidence that you were not physically resisting arrest and determining:
- If the officer who injured you was acting within departmental guidelines
- If the officer treated you within the guarantees of the U.S. Constitution
- If the arrest could have been made without resorting the degree of violence used
- If the assault took place after you were handcuffed
There is never a charge for a consultation, and you will never receive a bill for legal services until you receive money for your damages. If there is no recovery, you owe nothing. Call us today if you have suffered from police brutality in San Luis Obispo, Monterey, or Santa Barbara.