If officers do not uphold their duty to serve and protect everyone in society, they deserve to be held accountable for their actions. Many cases of false arrests, excessive force, and police brutality do not get media coverage and are not taken seriously because the victims feel like they should let the officer off the hook due to fear of having to deal with the officer after the complaint is brought in front of the public. Most people fear authority figures and the idea of seeking legal action against them seems impossible.
However, officers can be held responsible for their actions if the correct steps are taken. Especially when their actions were completely unacceptable, such as what occurred on Miami Beach this week to individuals who were trying to enjoy their march break.
As march breakers tried to enjoy their march break on South Beach in Florida, they were swarmed by police officers. Many videos show officers pepper-spraying harmless individuals, and some officers even went as far as slamming women into the pavement. These individuals were being attacked by police officers without any known crime or open offense they may have committed. Some of the officers who were confronted and questioned about their actions claimed that the individuals on the beach had been behaving aggressively towards the officers by hitting their vehicles and hurling swear words at them. However, there is no evidence or support for these claims as of yet.
The videos of police officers treating civilians so aggressively didn’t come as a major surprise to many, as Miami Beach has become notorious for the horrific way their officers treat people of color.
Everyone is outraged by the open racial profiling and harassment committed by the officers and people are beginning to realize the urgency of police accountability being enforced. The assistant director of the neighboring City of Miami Civilian Investigative Panel, Rodney Jacobs, called for new methods of police-monitoring to be introduced as it is clearly much needed.
What should be done if an officer abuses me?
Though officers are granted a significant amount of leeway by the law, and they are often immune to lawsuits, this fact should not hold a person back from seeking justice for the poor way they were treated.
If an officer abuses a person in any way, whether the abuse is verbal, physical or sexual, they should not hesitate in reaching out to a police brutality attorney to help them understand what their legal options towards compensation are. As the situation above describes, if enough evidence is provided and enough people complain about the actions of the officer, the cases of abuse will not go overlooked and will be considered and rectified by officials.
Police brutality and racial profiling by officers is much more common then it should be. It is only by speaking out against the ill behavior of officers and spreading awareness that such matters can be controlled and remedied by those who have the power to do so.