Do you have an excessive force complaint against a police officer? If so, it is important you understand what options you have if you want to hold the police accountable for brutalizing you or violating your rights. Excessive force complaints have a high burden of proof and involve other complexities, which are just two of the reasons why you should consult with a police brutality attorney in Mississippi if you have a complaint.
Police Brutality in the U.S. and Mississippi
Most police officers take the job to help others and strive not to harm anyone unnecessarily. Many police officers never use excessive force or even pull their gun, but there is a minority of police officers across Mississippi who violate the rights of citizens and use excessive force.
Following are facts and statistics about police brutality according to Mapping Police Violence.org:
19 percent of white suspects shot by police were unarmed in 2015
30 percent of black suspects shot by police were unarmed in 2015
99 percent of police killings were not prosecuted in 2015
Lack of Accountability
For victims of police brutality or those who lost a loved one to police violence, the most frustrating thing is the lack of accountability. A citizen who causes another person harm or fatally injures a person they are likely to face criminal charges, but the norms are a bit different for police given the danger they face to carry out their duties.
Under federal and state law, police are allowed to use force to subdue a suspect especially if they present a danger to themselves. The biggest challenge with respect to the excessive use of force complaints is demonstrating that an officer’s use of force exceeding what is reasonable in a situation. That is a vague description, and the reason proving excessive force is so difficult.
Filing an Excessive Use of Force Claim in Mississippi
If you were harmed by a law enforcement officer or a loved one is killed, you have a few avenues you can explore to justice. Those avenues include filing a complaint with Internal Affairs or filing a criminal complaint which has a high rate of failure.
The third option- and one that will get a family closer to justice- is to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in a Mississippi civil court. A civil suit will allow and the victim and their family to recover compensation for their pain and suffering.
Hire a Police Brutality Lawyer in Mississippi
Different laws apply to claims against city, county, state or federal law enforcement agencies than personal injury claims against a private citizen. For instance:
A police officer accused of excessive force is immune from a civil suit if they were on duty when an incident occurs. That means the appropriate government entity is responsible for paying a victim compensation for their economic and emotional damages.
And the statute of limitations is shorter, giving you only 90 days from the date of the injury or death to notify the state’s Attorney General of your intention to file a civil claim.
All injury claims are complex and injury victims or surviving loved ones need someone who has handled a police brutality or excessive use of force complaint before. USAttorneys.com recommends you speak with a police brutality lawyer in Mississippi to direct you and make sure you get the most out of your claim.