Victims of Police Abuse
Perhaps the case most prevalent on everyone’s mind in recent years is the George Floyd murder case involving four Minneapolis police officers. According to the record, a store owner called 911 alleging that Mr. Floyd passed a counterfeit $20 bill at the grocery store. Upon arrival, the officers restrained George Floyd, and on the record, it is said that he was held down for 8 minutes, 46 seconds while Officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck, preventing him from breathing.
Mr. Floyd died during that time frame and the battle cry was born, “8/46.” To this day, the George Floyd murder by cop incident is foremost on people’s minds when the term police abuse/brutality is mentioned. This is an extreme case, but not as rare as you might think. Do you worry about what you would do if you were ever victimized by police? Here are three ways you can legally fight police abuse.
1. Contact a Lawyer
Obviously, Mr. Floyd couldn’t contact a lawyer to help him file suit against the officers involved in his death. However, in a case like that, any family member left behind has a right to sue for compensation in a wrongful death. The first thing you can, and should do, is hire a team of police brutality attorneys to bring your case to court. If you feel you have been victimized by law enforcement, then you have every right to expect compensation for any damages and losses you sustained.
2. Work to Raise Public Awareness
There are various ways to raise public awareness legally. However, one thing you should be mindful of is what your attorneys tell you about what you can divulge to the media. Some information in an ongoing, unresolved case should not be publicly mentioned. To do so will often lead to a mistrial, if your case goes that far in the courts. Make absolutely certain what you can say and how you can express it if you want to stay within the confines of the law.
3. Lobby Local, State and Federal Politicians
Once your case is brought to a conclusion, it’s time to start lobbying local, state and even federal politicians. They are the people who legislate actions to be taken when an officer of the law is found guilty of brutality or abuse. Legislators define what constitutes police abuse and/or brutality so they are the ones you approach if you feel current legislation is inadequate or even nonexistent. They also define compensatory limits and how officers are to be treated once found guilty.
Bearing in mind that not all cases of police brutality are as extreme as that pertaining to Mr. Floyd’s death, there are still far too many cases being alleged and then proven in a court of law. From stricter mental health exams to more closely monitoring officers in a department, the one thing that is clear is that changes must be made. Not all cases are as extreme, but even a minor infraction is one infraction too many. There is never a time when police brutality is acceptable. Never!