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Mississippi Lawyer Blog

What Constitutes Police Brutality (and Other Forms of Police Misconduct)?

Although police brutality is an age old problem, it has only been in recent years that we've seen such extensive media coverage surrounding the issue. There have been a number of notorious cases, but most of those have been extreme and not an accurate representation of the most common types of police brutality that occur. This type of incident doesn't necessarily need to have such a severe outcome in order to be valid grounds for a lawsuit. If there have been any injuries or emotional harm sustained as a result of an officer's behavior, then the victim should speak with an attorney right away.

The phrase "police brutality" is essentially a blanket term that refers to an unnecessary and/or excessive use of force by an officer of the law. That's all relative, however. What is excessive in one situation may be warranted in other, and not all force is necessarily physical or violent. Over-the-top verbal attacks or psychological duress by an officer may also qualify, depending on the circumstances. Because this isn't something that can be quantified, the measure of what exactly constitutes "police brutality" is truly subjective in nature.

Excessive use of force is only one type of police misconduct. False arrest is also a very common claim, asserting that an officer made an arrest in the absence of a warrant or probable cause. This is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which safeguards citizens from unreasonable seizure.

Other forms of Police Misconduct most often include behaviors that have more of a criminal connotation, such as:

  • Corruption (typically, involvement in the drug trade or sale of stolen property)
  • Abuse of Authority
  • Extortion or Bribery
  • Selective Enforcement
  • Theft, Burglary, or Shakedowns
  • Fixing (including that involving traffic citations)

Essentially, any deliberate behavior that results in a miscarriage of justice should be discussed with an attorney. Police officers are not exempt from the very laws that they enforce.

If you feel that you have been the victim of police brutality or false arrest, our team of experienced lawyers will be happy to discuss your options with you.

Contact the skilled and proven team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a free case consultation.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.

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