Society entrusts law enforcement with great power and responsibility to treat citizens respectfully and to not use force unless absolutely necessary. While most police officers are good people who do not abuse their power, some percentage of law enforcement officers believe that a police badge places them above the law and entitles them to use force against people at will. Sadly, in the Greater Houston area, every year citizens are seriously injured or even killed by police officers applying excessive force. If you or a loved one is the victim of police brutality, you need a skilled, aggressive attorney to protect your rights and hold the police accountable for the pain and suffering you have endured.
What is considered police brutality?
Police brutality conjures up images of police officers beating defendants without justification but the excessive and abuse use of force by police can take many forms. The most common type of police brutality are uses of excessive force, such as shooting or chokings, that result in the injury of even death of a person. Police brutality and inappropriate conduct can also include sexual assault, degrading and unnecessary strip searches and all forms of physical violence. Law enforcement officers have training that teaches them how to de-escalate situations and when force is absolutely necessary. When police officers use force against a citizen, it should be no more than necessary. If a police officer uses force when it is not warranted, or uses excessive force, that is considered police brutality.
What should I do if I am the victim of police brutality?
If you are the victim of police brutality, it very important that you seek medical attention to make sure you recover from your injuries, but also to medically document the nature and extent of the injuries due to excessive use of force by the police. You should take several pictures of your injuries, ideally in a way that shows the date the photographs were taken (by holding a newspaper in the background with the date clearly visible, for example). Do not sign any waivers or accept any offers to settle a claim without first speaking with an experienced defense or prosecution attorney.
It is also important to quickly speak to an experienced police brutality attorney. Some evidence, like surveillance footage, is not preserved indefinitely, so it is important to act quickly. An attorney experienced with excessive use of force cases may be able to obtain it with a court order, or other means, before it is destroyed. If you believe that any video evidence exists, you should mention this fact to a police brutality attorney as quickly as possible.
Can I be compensated for my injuries if I am the victim of excessive police force?
It is possible to receive compensation for your injuries if you are the victim of excessive force or police brutality. Being the victim of violence at the hands of the police can result in serious injuries and even death and you have the right to be compensated for your pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills and more. The amount of compensation you receive will vary from case to case and will depend on the officer’s actions (and how clear it was that the use of force was not justified), as well as the nature and extent of the injuries. Every year, in the Greater Houston area, victims of police brutality are compensated, often for several hundreds of thousands of dollars, or more.
Attorney Jose Ceja is a trial lawyer and former prosecutor who is intimately familiar with police procedure and does not back down. If you or a loved one has been the victim on police brutality anywhere in the Greater Houston area, Ceja Law Firm is ready to fight for you. Call today for a free consultation.
Ceja Law Firm PLLC helps clients with police brutality cases throughout Harris County and the Greater Houston Area including Pasadena, Baytown, Sugar Land, Bellaire, Galveston, Texas City, Jacinto City, and more.