What Is Considered Police Abuse Under New York Law?

One form of police abuse is called “Excessive Force” which is when police officers use physical force against someone in excess of what is reasonable under the circumstances. A reasonable amount of force may be used to maintain physical control over someone that the police are taking into custody, however it can’t become just a way of punishing someone by physical injuring them. Other forms of police abuse include False Arrest, False Imprisonment, and Malicious Prosecution. All forms of police abuse involve the police violating someone’s rights. Generally, however, when someone is speaking about police abuse, they mean physical abuse in the form of Excessive Force. This can take the form of being struck, pushed, slapped, or otherwise physically assaulted. In more extreme cases, Excessive Force can include assault with a baton, Taser, or firearm resulting in serious injury or even death. Police departments vary widely as to the extent and quality of the training they provide officers in the appropriate use of force and all too often do not sufficiently discipline officers with a history of using excessive force.

How Can I Prove That Police Used Excessive Force When They Hold All The Evidence?

Once a lawsuit against the police for excessive force is initiated, a victim plaintiff has certain rights to discovery. Discovery includes the right to demand that the police provide certain items of evidence including documents, reports, records, and recordings. The victim’s lawyer can question police by demanding answers to written questions as well as during questioning of police officers in person under oath at depositions. Evidence can also be obtained through other sources, including medical records, witness interviews, cell phone videos, and security camera recordings. An attorney experienced at bringing Excessive Force lawsuits knows where to look for proof and how to force the police department and other parties to provide the evidence needed to prevail.

What Factors Are Weighed When Deciding Whether An Officer Has Used Excessive Force?

A police officer is generally allowed to use a reasonable amount of force to place someone in custody. What is considered the appropriate amount of force depends on the particular circumstances involved and is done on a case-by-case basis. Factors that are considered include the severity of the underlying crime or circumstances, whether the person was attempting to resist arrest or flee, whether or not that person was posing a physical threat to the safety of the police officers, whether the person was already in custody (for example, in handcuffs), whether appropriate warnings were given before the police use of force.

What Constitutes A False Arrest? How Do You Prove It?

False Arrest is a claim made that the police arrested someone when they knew or should have (or easily could have) known that there was no probable cause for the arrest. “Probable Cause” is often defined as facts sufficient to cause a reasonable person to believe that a crime had been committed. In order to be able to pursue a False Arrest claim, the person arrested must not have been later convicted either by plea or after trial. Proving a False Arrest claim involves examining what information was available to the police at the time of the arrest either through eyewitnesses, physical evidence, or police databases.

Is A Video Of An Interrogation Where I Repeatedly Say No and Then Confess Under Duress Enough To Show I Was Being Harassed?

Typically when an interrogation by the police takes place, the police claim to have had probable cause to take the person into custody. If the police did in fact have probable cause to take the person into custody, then there wouldn’t be a valid claim of False Arrest. Just the fact alone that a person repeatedly said no and then finally confessed wouldn’t be enough to give them a case against the police officers involved. If it can be shown, however, that the police placed the person interrogated under duress thru illegal tactics such as physical force, intimidation, or coercion, a successful action could be brought against the officers.

For more information on Police Abuse In The State Of New York, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (631) 259-6060 today.

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