Police officers have the responsibility to protect the public and you’ll find that the majority of officers do this. However, as you get with any profession there are some police officers who do not obey all their responsibilities and can sometimes abuse their authority. Sometimes officers have used excessive force in situations where was unnecessary.
How do you know when Police force is excessive?
Police officers are permitted to use force in the right situations. The amount of force used needs to be justified in the situation. For example, it is necessary to use force to prevent a suspect from escaping or to prevent people from being injured or killed. Some common examples of excessive force include:
- Physical force against someone who is in police custody and is not resisting being there.
- Using a weapon against a person who does not have a weapon
- Using excessive force to intimidate a suspect/witness into giving a statement
Anyone can be a victim of excessive police force however the Department of Justice Statistics does indicate that excessive police force is a problem for minority populations where officers need more training.
A Victims Rights Against The Police
If you feel you have been the victim of excessive police force you have the right to seek damages for your injuries. You may be able to make a claim against the police. In order to make a claim both parties (you and the police officer) are obliged to abide by a Pre-Action Protocol which encourages the early exchange of all documentation and information. Usually the Protocol encourages both parties to try to reach a settlement without having to take any court action. If the case can’t be settled and court proceedings are necessary, you are told to meet with a barrister to review the evidence before starting any court action.
Even if the clearest of cases police officers tend to be very reluctant to admit liability. The officer can sometimes legitimately delay civil claims if the claim is linked to an ongoing criminal investigation or if the Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating the case.
If you need more help making a claim against the police then Mulderrigs Solicitors have been representing clients in police claims for almost 20 years.
If you need some free advice then visit their website and see how they can help you.