Society has entrusted police officers with the awesome power and authority to investigate, detain, arrest, and charge citizens. Society has also granted law enforcement officers the right to use physical violence, including deadly force, when appropriate. Police officers have access to numerous weapons and advanced technology to do their job, including drones, video surveillance equipment, police dogs ("K-9"), batons, asps, pepper spray, tasers, and firearms, and they are sometimes equipped with defensive armor. The average citizen has only a single protection against such an overwhelming disparity of resources: their civil rights.
The Bill of Rights within the United States Constitution exists, in large part, to guard citizens from the abuse of police authority. Unfortunately, the constitutional safeguards that all Americans enjoy are often ignored by police officers. When people have had their civil rights violated by the police, they feel helpless, believing that there is nothing they can do to remedy the situation or to prevent the police from victimizing others. The truth is that people are not helpless when they are the victims of police abuse. Help is available.
An experienced Chicago civil rights lawyer from Foutris Law Office, Ltd. can represent you in a lawsuit to hold the abusive police officers accountable for their actions, and to recover fair and just compensation for their wrongdoing. If you are the victim of police misconduct, then you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages against the individual police officers.
Police officers are sometimes so certain of a suspect's guilt that they will resort to extreme and illegal measures to force a confession which will lead to a conviction. For instance, the infamous Chicago police commander John Burge resorted to these tactics again and again. There are also cases where, despite little or no evidence linking a suspect to a crime, the police manufacture or lie about evidence to convince people to admit to crimes they did not commit. Many of the worst interrogation tactics amount to torture.
The law dictates how much force, and under what circumstances, police officers can use against individuals. A police officer is permitted to use only so much force as is necessary to subdue a suspect. Police officers are not allowed to beat people up just because they are suspected of committing a crime, or because they are guilty of "contempt of cop", or because they ran from the police. Beating or inflicting physical violence when a suspect is not resisting is unlawful.
If you have been the victim of brutal or abusive police actions, in addition to the police officers that engaged in the unlawful behavior, you may have grounds to sue the police officers that allowed the abuse to happen. Under certain circumstances, police officers are required to protect citizens whose rights are being violated, and officers who were present at the time and condoned the actions or failed to intervene may be liable for damages.
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, followed by an exoneration or dismissal of the charges, you may be able to file a lawsuit on the basis that you were prosecuted without probable cause.
When police officers assault, beat, shoot or torture a suspect, the police officers often try to justify or cover-up their illegal behavior by claiming that the suspect was resisting arrest or had initially attacked them. Taking legal action against a police officer who has brutalized you takes courage. But staying silent will only encourage the police officer to victimize others. Filing a civil rights lawsuit will allow you to receive compensation for what happened to you, and will also hold the police officer accountable for his or her actions.
Police misconduct is a serious problem, especially when it is not merely an isolated incident but an institutionalized system of corruption and abuse. Many police officers follow an unwritten code of silence and implicitly condone the wrongdoing of their fellow officers. If you have suffered any type of abuse at the hands of the police, you deserve an advocate to help you defend your rights.
Arming the police force with firearms is considered to be a necessary measure to provide for the public safety, but it also creates an extreme disparity of force between officers and citizens which is easily abused. If you or a loved one has suffered injury in an unlawful police shooting, you may be able to file a claim against the officer who fired the gun to recover fair and just compensation.
Many law enforcement agencies advertise their use of tasers as a less lethal alternative to clubs and guns. In truth, tasers are dangerous weapons that are meant to incapacitate people by, essentially, electrocuting them. Depending on where taser victims are tased, they can experience many injuries including cardiovascular injuries, blindness, broken bones, involuntary spasms, loss of physical control and extreme physical pain. Unfortunately, tasers have become a common instrument of police abuse and torture.
If a police officer arrested you without probable cause or a lawful arrest warrant, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit to recover monetary compensation for your loss of liberty. The United States Constitution protects you against unlawful arrests, and an attorney from the firm can help you receive compensation for the violation of this fundamental American right.
The Fourth Amendment is meant to protect people from unlawful searches and seizures by government officials, including law enforcement officers. This fundamental civil right prevents the police from entering your home, or searching you or your things, unless they have your permission or a legal justification to do so.
Any defendant in a criminal case is considered by law to be innocent until proven guilty, but countless innocent people have been wrongfully convicted of crimes and are now serving terms in jail or prison. Whether you have a loved one behind bars or if you personally want to redress your wrongs and clear your record of a past conviction, an attorney may be able to help you resolve the situation favorably.
When police actions result in someone dying, whether it is through a police shooting or other police malfeasance, the police often circle the wagons to protect one another. The victim's loved ones are left with no one to turn to, and no answers about what really happened. A wrongful death lawsuit allows the victim's family members to expose the truth of what happened, to hold those responsible accountable for the unlawful death, and to secure fair and just compensation to those left behind.
Federal and state law provide people with the right to sue their government officials, including law enforcement officers, for fair and just compensation when they have been wronged. If you suffered any type of abuse or violation of your civil rights at the hands of a police officer, you are entitled to hold the officer liable for damages. Working with an experienced attorney can greatly increase your chances of securing the compensation you deserve.
Under the U.S. Constitution, you are entitled to the due process of law. If your right to due process was violated in any way, you may be able to remedy the situation by filing a civil lawsuit against the individual or agency that wronged you.
Contact a Chicago civil rights attorney for support & legal representation when your rights have been violated. We can fight for justice & compensation.