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Experienced Minneapolis Civil Rights Attorneys
Civil rights are an important concept in our society and have been for hundreds of years. Civil rights refer to the non-political rights of a citizen and generally refer to the rights discussed and protected by the U.S. Constitution.
Some of the most disturbing types of civil rights violations come from police officers who are sworn to serve and protect. Police officers generally have broad powers to carry out their duties. The Constitution and other laws, however, place limits on how far the police can go in trying to enforce the law.
If you believe your civil rights have been violated, contact us. We have attorneys who are experienced in cases involving civil rights violations and police misconduct.
Here are some types of civil rights violations and police misconduct:
A false arrest, also known as wrongful arrest or false imprisonment, occurs when someone wrongfully holds you against your will or takes you into custody. Police officers are not allowed to arrest anyone for just any reason, however, they may arrest anyone whom the officer has reasonable and probable cause to believe has committed any criminal offense.
In order for a police officer to be charged with a false arrest, he or she must act without authority or beyond the scope of their powers. It can be difficult to prove a false arrest charge, but if the charge can be proved, it is possible to recover punitive damages from the arresting party.
An unlawful restraint of someone that affects the person’s freedom of movement is considered false imprisonment. All states have false imprisonment laws to protect against unlawful confinement. To prove a false imprisonment claim in a civil lawsuit, two essential elements must be proven. They are:
- Detention or restrain against a person's will;
- Unlawfulness of the detention or restraint. False imprisonment can come in many forms, including any threat or use of authority that confines you against your will. While physical force is often used, it is not required.
Police officers are formally trained to handle situations where tensions are high and violence is a common occurrence. Officers are allowed by law to use reasonable physical force to apprehend and subdue a suspect. When police officers use violence to punish, intimidate, coerce confessions or intentionally inflict pain, they can be guilty of using excessive force.
The intentional use of excessive force by a police officer is police brutality, and not only is it completely unacceptable behavior, it is illegal.
Police Deadly Force
The use of deadly force is often granted to law enforcement officers when the person or people in question are believed to be an immediate danger to people around them. Deadly force is one of the most restricted, scrutinized and severe actions a police officer can take.
The standards relating to the use of deadly force are set forth by the Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court: An officer must reasonably believe it is necessary to shoot to kill to defend him or herself or someone else from imminent death.
Police Dog Attacks
Police use a variety of tools to apprehend suspects, including police dogs. Police dogs are trained to act on command to track, knock down, and corner suspects. Police dogs are not trained to severely maul or kill people, or grab them by the face or throat, however, they may be trained to bite in such a manner as to subdue a suspect.
K-9 unit dogs are often large breeds that cause significant injuries to a suspect. When they attack, they can cause severe cuts and scars, as well as permanent damage because of bite penetration. Our attorneys evaluate the facts of a police dog attack claim to determine whether an officer’s use of a dog to apprehend a suspect was appropriate or resulted in unnecessary injuries.
Jail Abuse & Neglect
Jail Abuse is the action of a staff member of the jail that causes harm to an inmate. Jail Neglect is, on the other hand, the inaction of a jail staff member which has caused harm to an inmate. Simply put, abuse requires an action and neglect requires no action at all.
Prison officials have a duty to protect the safety of prison inmates and suspects held in custody. Officials who fail to protect or respect the rights of those in their prisons and jails must be held accountable. If an inmate is injured or dies because of abusive treatment or negligence, the city or county may be financially liable.
Contact our attorneys for help
Contact the law offices of SiebenCarey for a free consultation if you feel your civil rights have been violated. One of our personal injury attorneys will evaluate your case and help you receive the justice you deserve.