Around the United States, police misconduct can be a controversial issue, but it does occur. Closer to home, a recent New York City investigation found that law enforcement officers used excessive force during a 2020 summer protest against racism and police brutality. In addition, there are thousands of complaints of police misconduct throughout the state every year.
If you believe a police officer violated your rights, it can be a challenging situation to be in. With that said, there are resources available to help, and you are not alone. By familiarizing yourself with the law and figuring out a plan of action, you can increase your chances of successfully defending your civil rights.
Know your rights
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, law enforcement officers may not violate your Constitutional right to protection from excessive force, sexual harassment, theft or false arrest. In addition, police officers may not attempt to obstruct justice or deliberately ignore medical needs.
When someone violates your rights, it can be infuriating, but becoming aggressive usually only makes a bad situation worse. For this reason, making an effort to remain calm can reduce stress. Additionally, keeping your cool is also an effective way to deescalate heated police encounters.
Report police misconduct
By being aware of your rights and staying calm, you can increase your chances of going home to reflect on the situation. Remember, you also have a right to legal representation and the right to report the incident. After spending some time thinking and gathering resourcing, reporting the misconduct can help others.
Knowing what to do when a police officer violates your civil rights can be difficult, but thinking about things ahead of time can help you out if you encounter this situation.