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Defining and recognizing excessive force and police brutality

Police officers have the duty and requirement to be fair and treat everyone equally. Sadly, not everyone employed in law enforcement in North Carolina adheres to these duties, and mistreatment and violation of personal rights occurs more often than you may think. Victims of various types of police brutality and excessive force have the right to speak up and seek appropriate compensation.

The failure of the police to recognize your personal rights is not acceptable, no matter what type of criminal investigation is pending or legal situation in which you find yourself. You have the right to a presumption of innocence, to protect yourself from unfair treatment and to build a strong defense strategy.

The appropriate application of deadly force

The Fourth Amendment grants you protection against unlawful search and seizure, and the Eighth Amendment outlaws cruel and unusual punishment. These two amendments, as well as other laws and regulations, shield you from mistreatment from law enforcement.

Sadly, excessive and unreasonable force often escalates to the point that law enforcement employs deadly force when it is not necessary. To protect civilian lives and temper the use of unreasonably harsh force when chasing and apprehending suspects, the Supreme Court ruled that police should only use deadly force if both the following apply to the situation:

  • The suspect presents a clear and significant threat to the safely and lives of any law enforcement officers.
  • It is necessary to prevent the suspect from escaping.

One of the main problems with the ruling is the fact that the definition of what behaviors qualify as threatening and dangerous can differ from case to case and depend on the personality of the law enforcement officers responding. Excessive force is a violation of constitutional rights, and victims or family members may consider how to move forward with the appropriate legal action if subjected to this unacceptable type of treatment.

The next steps for you

If you believe that you are a victim of excessive force or you have concerns about the protection of your rights after an arrest, you have no time to lose in securing the appropriate help. Whether it is fighting for your rights or building a strong defense, you do not have to navigate this complex legal situation on your own.

Your personal freedom and your civil rights may be at stake, but you do not have to stay silent. No matter the situation currently affecting your life, you have the right to pursue the best possible outcome to your case.

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Brannen & Walker Attorneys at law

141 Union Street S
Concord, NC 28025

Phone: 704-594-4128
Fax: 866-413-9893
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