Police officers across the nation are permitted to apply force in certain situations, although they should always follow the use of force continuum. This means that if a police officer believes applying force is necessary in a particular situation, he/she should work their way up the continuum rather than rely on applying deadly force as their initial tactic. Police officers can generally apply force in the following situations:
- A suspect poses as a risk to the public.
- A suspect committed a serious crime and is attempting to flee.
- A suspect is being combative or resisting arrest.
- An officer’s life is in danger and the use of force is necessary to protect themselves.
If an officer does apply force, whether it is during a routine traffic stop or while making an arrest, the level of force must be reasonable. When an officer applies any level of force that exceeds what is considered reasonable, it is excessive force. Excessive is a prohibited practice in police agencies and if it causes an individual to suffer physical and/or psychological injuries, they may have a valid case against the officer and/or the department they work for.
Suing Over Excessive Force
If an individual was injured during their encounter with a police officer and they believe excessive force was the cause of their injuries, a Colorado police brutality lawyer can determine if they have a viable case. In the event the victim does have enough evidence to file a lawsuit, a police brutality attorney will help them value their case as well as start the lawsuit process.
Although it can be intimidating to take legal action against an officer of the law, when they violate a person’s rights, their behavior should not go unnoticed.
Types of Damages Awarded in Police Brutality Cases
When an individual files a police brutality lawsuit over excessive force, they may be entitled to recover one or more of the following damages:
- Pain and suffering.
Police officers have access to various weapons that can cause a person to suffer serious and even life-threatening injuries. If the excessive force led to an individual experiencing any degree of pain, they can seek compensation to make up for this.
- Mental anguish.
Being harmed by a law enforcement officer is traumatic, especially because they are the same individuals civilians call upon to protect them in the event of an emergency. If an officer’s unlawful actions caused a person to suffer from anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or another mental condition, compensation may also be awarded to them for this.
- Medical expenses.
If an individual’s injuries required them to seek medical treatment, they can request in their lawsuit that they be awarded compensation to cover these costs.
Connect with a Colorado Police Brutality Attorney Now
If an individual is looking to sue an officer or police agency in Colorado over excessive force, Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC is here to help. The CO police brutality attorneys at Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC dedicate themselves to protecting the rights of those who have been mistreated or taken advantage of by police officers in Colorado and aren’t afraid to fight for a fair outcome in their case.
Those who are looking to sue an officer or police department for damages can contact Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC at 720-923-2333 to receive a free consultation.
Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC can be reached at:
333 W. Hampden Avenue, #420B
Englewood, CO 80110