What if I am a victim of Police Brutality?
Victims of police brutality usually ask whether they can sue for damages. The answer to that question lies on the specific facts of the case. Police brutality cases usually involve complex laws and procedures. The police have considerable discretion on how they can perform their duties. However, this power is not absolute.
Police brutality usually involve the following instances:
1) Excessive force: This is when the police officer used an “unreasonable” amount of force to apprehend or subdue the suspect.
2) Coerced confession: Police officer used physical force, threat of physical force, or psychological intimidation to elicit a confession.
3) Police Torture: There are instances where officer causes intense mental or physical pain in order to achieve some goal.
Missouri courts use a “reasonableness” standard when determining whether a police officer’s conduct was excessive. Some factors that are considered in making this determination are:
a) Whether suspect poses an immediate threat?
b) Severity of the victim’s injuries
c) Was the force used while the victim was evading/resisting arrest?
d) The type of crime the suspect may have committed
The factors mentioned above are just some of the facts the court will use to determine whether there was police brutality.