If you’ve ever wondered why South Florida police officers are let off the hook after they applied excessive force or became violent toward a suspect during an arrest, perhaps this explains why.
According to an article that was recently published by the Miami Herald, prosecutors are charging South Florida cops for rough arrests, however, jurors keep acquitting them. While it’s one thing to want to show respect to an officer of the law who is properly performing his/her duties, it is another to let an officer off the hook after they have engaged in an act of misconduct. For instance, the source said that after a South Florida officer was faced with criminal charges for kicking a handcuffed robbery suspect, the judge or jury assigned to the case decided to acquit the officer.
Another South Florida officer was also acquitted after they kicked a teen burglary suspect who was also in handcuffs and lying on the ground. Apparently, there seems to be a pattern of inappropriate police behavior and acquittals. In another case that resulted in an officer being acquitted, the officer was accused of slapping an airbag thief while he was handcuffed because he assumed the suspect was going to spit on him. In that particular case, one of the jurors questioned why the officer was even charged.
The lawyers that were hired to represent these officers have even acknowledged that the “public, despite social-media fueled outrage spurred by videos, tend to side with cops.”
While the source suggests that South Florida prosecutors are attempting to charge more police officers for applying excessive force, it is the jurors who feel the officer has not done anything wrong. Currently, there are at least six police officers in Miami-Dade and Broward counties that are facing trials in state cases that stem from rough arrests. While it is clear that an officer of the law has a tough job to do, that doesn’t give him or her the right to be relieved of liability when they mistreat or harm someone, even if that person is guilty of committing a crime.
What if I am a victim of police brutality?
Although police officers are rarely reprimanded for their unwarranted and sometimes even illegal behavior, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways of obtaining justice. Although an officer might never face criminal charges for mistreating you, that doesn’t mean you can’t file a civil lawsuit against him/her and recover compensation for the pain and suffering you have had to endure. If a Fort Lauderdale, FL police officer harmed you during an arrest, contact Gabriela C. Novo, P.A. so that you can speak with a qualified Fort Lauderdale, FL police brutality lawyer who can explain what your next steps should be.