Virginia Police Brutality Lawyer

Recent news has placed the actions of Virginia’s police officers into the spotlight of public opinion. While peoples’ opinions of the police as a whole may differ, everyone can all agree that the police should aim to do their jobs while preserving the Constitutional rights of all citizens. All too often, the police violate these rights when they make illegal arrests and commit unnecessary acts of violence.

When this violence results in a physical injury the injured parties have the right to seek compensation. These lawsuits can be filed against the officers in question, their department, and the city. Virginia police brutality lawyers could help people file lawsuits, in order to hold police departments responsible for their abusive actions. Work with a determined personal injury attorney that could fight for you.

When Does Police Violence Become Brutality?

A statute known as Section 1983 is the primary civil rights law police brutality victims will bring a claim against. The use of force and restraints is a key part of police work. There are approved versions of holds that are used to restrain people in a way that is supposed to cause minimal injury. Still, these holds can often put great strain on peoples’ joints or even block their windpipe.

Police officers undergo lengthy training programs and are schooled to use these restraints only when necessary. Sadly, these restraints may be used in wanton and reckless ways that violate police protocols.

Police are also authorized to use force when necessary to protect themselves or other citizens. This force can range from placing people in handcuffs to the use of firearms. However, this force is not always properly applied. Whenever the amount of force used is not proportional to the threat presented by the subject, it may be characterized as brutality.

For example, a person may be stopped while driving and asked to step out of a car. Even if that person is arrested they must be treated fairly. It is common practice to place this person into handcuffs for a search of their person.

But if the police officer decides to use their baton to shove the person into the back of their cruiser, this may count as brutality. More obvious examples include the use of firearms or Tasers on unarmed people. Every case is unique and must be examined as a whole. A Virginia police brutality lawyer could work with individuals to get to the truth behind every incident.

Who Can Be Held Responsible?

Police officers are always employees of a government agency. Traditionally, the city or state that employs a police officer was immune from personal injury suits under the concept known as sovereign immunity. This meant that people injured by the government or their representatives had no recourse. Thankfully, the Commonwealth and local cities have enacted statutes that may waive this privilege and allow citizens to sue for their damages under certain circumstances.

People with allegations against individual officers may also file complaints with their overseeing departments. This can result in the officer being investigated, reprimanded, or terminated. Still, this will not allow a plaintiff to collect any damages but may be used as evidence in a future claim.

Virginia Police Brutality Lawyers Work to Protect Citizens

Police brutality has been an ongoing problem in Virginia and around the country for years. With most people having a video camera in the form of a cell phone on them at all times, the visibility of these incidents has increased.

Any time that an officer uses unnecessary force against a person and that person is injured, they have a claim for police brutality. Not only may the officer be civilly liable, but the department and city may be as well.

A Virginia 1983 lawyer could help people injured by the police, stand up for their rights. An attorney could aim to hold brutal officers responsible for their actions and to obtain the compensation that you deserve. The time to file a claim is very limited so contact a lawyer today.

Virginia Police Brutality Lawyer