Use of Excessive Force by Chicago Police
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Police officers are authorized to use force and physical violence under certain circumstances, such as to apprehend suspects, preserve the public peace, and protect citizens from harm. As such, law officers are often armed with weapons and gear that can cause significant harm to an unprotected citizen. When an officer abuses their authority by employing excessive force against a suspect, the victim may suffer severe injury or death, in addition to a major violation of their civil rights.
Attorney Bill Foutris has spent decades representing victims of police brutality. He has investigated claims of police brutality and filed lawsuits for people who were injured by police brutality, bringing claims for his clients against police officers from Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, as well as against officers in northern and central Illinois, northern Indiana, and eastern Wisconsin.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of any form of police brutality, do not hesitate to contact Foutris Law Office, Ltd. for assistance with filing a claim for damages. Attorney Bill Foutris is a Chicago civil rights lawyer who knows how to effectively build the evidence to prove your claim and protect the civil rights you are entitled to.
Contact Attorney Foutris at Foutris Law Office, Ltd. to discuss your case.
Are You a Victim of "Excessive Force"?
The law places limits on how much force a police officer can use, even when an arrestee is not cooperating or resisting arrest. So, excessive force, also often tied to police brutality, refers to situations where law officers legally entitled to use force exceed the minimum amount necessary to diffuse an incident or to allegedly protect themselves from harm.
Victims of excessive force include people who are shot, people that have had a firearm needlessly pointed in their direction, as well as people who have been punched, kicked, choked, beaten with batons, attacked by police dogs, maced, or subjected to taser abuse by law enforcement. Victims of excessive force deserve compensation for their injuries, such as out-of-pocket expenses like medical bills, as well as for the pain and suffering caused by the incident.
Laws Protecting Against the Use of Excessive Force
The constitutional right to be protected from excessive force is stated in the “reasonable search and seizure” requirement of the Fourth Amendment and the “prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment” in the Eighth Amendment. Under these constitutional provisions, generally, citizens may not be unlawfully searched or subjected to excessive force by law enforcement.
While the Supreme Court has recognized that the right to make an arrest or investigatory stop necessarily carries with it the right to use some degree of physical coercion or threat, the degree of coercion or force used must be proportional to the threat and escalate only in response to the threat.
In an ideal situation, an officer should use graduated methods to diffuse or de-escalate a situation, rather than cutting straight to using the most force possible, which may be excessive force. Instead of instinctively reaching for a taser or firearm at the first instance of a supposedly threatening suspect, for example, a law enforcement officer should use mere presence and verbal statements like non-threatening requests or direct orders, if it is reasonable to do so.
In order to be considered reasonable and compliant with the U.S. Constitution, the use of physical force must stop when the need for the force ceases, such as when a suspect has been successfully restrained or if a situation has otherwise de-escalated. In other words, an officer isn't allowed to punish criminals who no longer pose a threat to them.
Contact an experienced attorney like Bill Foutris in such a situation who can evaluate the damages you can sue for, as well as further establish your civil rights against such treatment by law enforcement.
Compensation for Victims of Excessive Police Force
Police will often attempt to refute allegations of excessive force by claiming that the suspect was resisting arrest or even attacked the officer, but witness testimony, surveillance footage, and even the police officer's history of violent behavior can support the accusation. Whether you have suffered bruising, broken bones, or torn ligaments, or if you lost a loved one in a case of wrongful death by excessive force, an experienced attorney from Foutris Law Office, Ltd. will represent you to fight for the justice and fair compensation you deserve in response to the police abuse you experienced.
Contact a Chicago civil rights lawyer for a consultation. Get started on a claim after you have suffered excessive force at the hands of the police!