Ever since the riot of 1967, Detroit residents and the city’s police force have tried to find a way to peaceably co-exist. However, sometimes tensions arise, and some police still overstep their authority.
Last year, a report by WXYZ found that Detroit had paid $19.1 million in payouts for alleged misconduct since 2015. One policeman dropped a St. Patrick’s day reveler on his head. Two victims were wrongly shot by police.
Have you been the victim of police misconduct? Have you been injured by a police officer while in the course of his duty? You may be entitled to financial compensation.
Here are three things to consider if you think you may have a viable police misconduct claim.
1. Was the Officer Acting Reasonably in the Situation?
Police have to make split-second decisions under stressful circumstances. Often, the law gives the police wide leeway to apprehend a person they think is committing a crime or to stop dangerous activity from continuing. Sometimes people get in the way and get hurt.
If you were hit by a police car while it was chasing someone, your attorney will look at whether the police were driving with excessive carelessness under the circumstances. Was it a busy street where there were many people nearby, or late at night when the streets were empty? Were you on the sidewalk or on your front lawn?
Many lawsuits arise when a policeman appears to have used unreasonable force in making an arrest. If you think this has happened to you, you should speak with an attorney.
2. How Were You Injured?
You need to prove several elements if you want to collect on a personal injury claim. You need to show that someone owed you a duty of care which they breached, and that breach caused your injury.
A police officer owes members of the community the obligation to conduct his duty in a safe and civilized manner. If he or she fails in that duty, causing you harm, you have a claim against them.
You will have to demonstrate how you were injured through medical records or documentation that you missed work. You may also have suffered emotional distress.
Find an attorney who has successfully pursued this kind of claim, and discuss whether your injuries are sufficient to warrant filing a claim.
3. Were You Singled Out for Your Race, Gender, or Other Protected Trait?
As we have seen in the news lately, some people are occasionally treated with special aggression by police. Sometimes they feel they were treated differently because of their race.
If you think that the police treated you badly because of your race, gender, disability, or other protected status, you may have a claim for a civil rights violation.
If police knocked your door down to search your home or hurt you while arresting you, consider whether your race may have played a part in their unjust treatment of you. If it is a possibility that they treated you differently because of race, you may have a viable claim against them for discriminatory treatment.
Police Misconduct: Don’t Be a Victim
You have the right to be treated fairly by the police without unnecessary force or humiliating tactics. If your body or reputation has been hurt because the police did not follow regulations and treated you in a way inconsistent with law and common decency, you should talk to a lawyer about a police misconduct suit.
For more information on protecting your rights, check out the rest of our blog.