We as a society typically turn to police departments to protect us from thieves and criminals. Unfortunately, sometimes the people that we trust to protect us from harm inflict harm. Police brutality is the intentional use of excessive force by a police officer, prison officer, or other agent of the law. While it is typically physical abuse, it can also come in the form of verbal attacks and psychological intimidation. The acts may be carried out due to the orders given to a single officer or may come about at the discretion of the officer. Police brutality may also be a result of government or administrative policies.
Police brutality exists on a widespread level in many countries. Even countries that prosecute the act frequently experience police brutality. Brutality is merely one of several forms of police misconduct. Other forms include false arrest, intimidation, racial profiling, political repression, surveillance abuse, sexual abuse, and police corruption. The systematic use of brutality is one of the key tenets of political repression.
The prevalence of brutality in the United States is not documented comprehensively. There are statistics available on the use of physical force by police officers. In a 2001 Department of Justice report, it was estimated that roughly 422,000 people over the age of 16 had contact with the police in which force or the threat of force was used. That number was an estimate for 1999 alone. A separate Department of Justice report showed that of the 26,556 citizen complaints of excessive use of police force among large agencies in the United States, 2,000 of the cases were found to have merit. Separate studies have shown that the majority of police brutality incidents go unreported.
Racial profiling is frequently associated with police brutality. This is because there is frequently a difference in race, religion, politics, or socioeconomic status between the police and the general citizens. Some police officers have been shown to feel that the population, or some subset of it, deserves punishment.
If you have been the victim oF police brutality or some other form of police misconduct, contact the Lake Geneva police misconduct lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at 1-800-275-1729 to discuss your situation and to determine your legal options.