DC Police Brutality Lawyer

Law enforcement officers are asked to perform a difficult job. Expectations include keeping everyone safe from harm while at the same time respecting everyone’s Constitutional rights. While most police officers perform their jobs admirably and to the best of their ability, others choose to ignore proper procedures for dealing with the public.

However, people who have suffered from police brutality have the right to be compensated for their injuries. DC police brutality lawyers represent those who have been injured by Washington DC’s police. Experienced personal injury attorneys can help hold both the officer and the department as a whole responsible for their actions in seeking justice for those affected by brutal tactics.

What is Considered Law Enforcement Brutality?

Police officers can use a certain amount of force when making an arrest. This is designed to both bring dangerous suspects into custody as well as to protect other people at the scene.

Washington DC’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has enacted General Order 901-07 that outlines when force may be used and what force is appropriate for a particular situation.

The order begins by stating that it is the policy of the MPD to diffuse all situations through non-violent means including verbal warnings whenever possible. The situation is then evaluated using a 1-5 level scale where 1 is a compliant subject but five involves the threat of serious injury or death.

Requirements for Filing a Claim for Brutality

In order for a person to collect any compensation for their injuries, they must file a civil 1983 complaint with the city. This complaint must be filed within six months of the incident and should outline:

  • The date and time of the incident
  • The identity of the claimant
  • Location of the incident
  • Any damages sustained
  • An explanation as to why the city should be responsible

A DC police brutality lawyer could help file these complaints and to see them through until the end.

What Are the Requirements for Conduct?

The actions taken by police officers must match the threat level assigned to the subject. If force is applied in a situation that does not match the required response, the officer’s actions can be characterized as excessive.

An officer does not need to use a firearm or other sort of weapon to commit excessive force, and the officer does not need to have intended for the injuries to happen. A case will simply examine the actions taken by the officer in response to the subject’s actions.

Claim Process for Excessive Force Cases

The MPD has enacted a procedure whereby a citizen can file a complaint directly with the MPD alleging unnecessary use of force. However, there is a strict time limit for this process and a form will not be accepted if the incident took place more than 90 days before the filing.

This can initiate several possible scenarios including formal charges being filed against the officer, mediation sessions meant to solve the problem peacefully, or the complaint being sent to the Office of Police Complaints. These sessions can establish a punishment for the officer.

How Washington DC Police Brutality Attorneys Can Help

Police brutality is an unfortunate fact of life. Any interaction with a police officer, even when a person is not accused of a crime, is an opportunity for brutality to occur.

The Metropolitan Police Department has enacted a strict code to govern the behavior of their officers when it comes to the use of force. When this code is violated, and a person is injured, they have the right to seek compensation.

Washington DC 1983 lawyers represent someone in their case against the officer, the police department, and city. An attorney could help you work to hold these organizations responsible for their actions.