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Police Brutality Attorneys in Metairie, Louisiana

Police brutality is a serious civil rights violation. In many cases, it can be extremely frightening for the victim or victims. When bringing a police brutality claim, make sure you work with a lawyer who not only has the experience and knowledge to help you, but also a lawyer who can understand what you are going through and provide compassionate representation in your case.

If you believe you or someone you love has been the victim of police brutality and you’d like to consult with a lawyer to discuss your options, reach out to us at Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer. We’re able to represent clients in Chalmette, New Orleans, Jefferson Parish, and St. Tammany Parish, and Metairie, Louisiana. Reach out today to set up a consultation.  

What Is Police Brutality?  

The term “police brutality” covers a broad array of activites, but in general, it can be used to describe any time a law enforcement official uses excessive or unwarranted force against someone they’re trying to arrest or detain. This can apply to both physical and verbal actions—but no matter what, you need to know that this is illegal. These officers who are guilty of police brutality should be held accountable for their actions. Some examples of police brutality can include:  

  • Excessive Force: This is possibly the most common interpretation of “police brutality” that comes to mind. It can also be one of the most difficult to prove, since in many cases, an officer needs to use some amount of force to complete an arrest. It can be hard to draw a clear line on what’s considered “excessive.”  

  • Unlawful Arrest: If you’re arrested without the officer having probable cause or without a warrant, you may be the victim of an unlawful arrest

  • Coercion: If an officer uses threatening language, is physically abusive to you, lies to you about the charges or the circumstances of your arrest, or uses their position of power to pressure you to comply, this is called coercion and it is illegal.   

  • Improper or Otherwise Illegal Activity: Unfortunately, sometimes an officer will break the law in other ways while performing an arrest. This could include acts like sexual assault or planting evidence (like drugs or a weapon) on a subject. 

  • Unnecessary Use of a Firearm: Sometimes excessive force can take the shape of an officer using their firearm unnecessarily. This can have disastrous and heartbreaking results.

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If you think you’ve been the victim of police brutality (even if you’re still unsure), it’s in your best interests to contact a civil rights attorney right away or have a family member take this step for you. Having a loved one help during this time can be incredibly helpful, especially if you’re currently being held in jail. You may be able to seek compensation or damages for injuries or harm they’ve done to you.

Just as importantly, though, by calling out officer’s illegal actions, you’ll help to ensure this same type of police brutality is less likely to happen to others in the future. This will be a difficult process, but it’s also one you don’t have to go through alone. 

What To Do if You or a Loved One Has Been a Victim  

One of the most important things to learn under circumstances like this is what to do if you were a victim of police brutality. It can be difficult to take the first steps toward seeking help. However, it’s vital that you reach out for guidance, no matter the specific circumstances. 

  1. Contact an Attorney: The single best step you can take is to contact a police misconduct attorney. These cases must be handled by a professional as they can be difficult to mount and win. Police departments exercise a lot of power and sway in a courtroom—and you’ll need to present a clear and compelling case to hold them accountable. 

  1. File an Internal Complaint: You’ll want to file an internal complaint about the offending officer’s behavior with the police department and your lawyer can help you do this.  

  1. File a Criminal Complaint: Next, you’ll need to file a criminal complaint with the courts to address their illegal actions and seek punishment from a judge. 

  1. Civil Suits: Lastly, you may wish to pursue a civil lawsuit to seek damages for the violation of your civil rights.  

Police Brutality Attorneys in Metairie, Louisiana

No one should have to navigate these complex and emotionally draining issues alone. If you have questions about what constitutes police brutality or are unsure whether or not you were the victim of police brutality, you need to speak with a lawyer immediately. For help around the Metairie, Louisiana area, contact the Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer today.