Police Misconduct: Holding Those In Power Accountable
The police are in place for the protection of all people in society. In general, most police officers conduct their duties in a fair and respectful manner. However, there are exceptions as there has been a number of cases over the years of police misconduct even to the level of police brutality.
Just as important as it is for us to respect police officers, it is important that we hold them accountable if there are situations that indicate an abuse of power or misconduct.
What is Considered Police Misconduct?
When the police are executing their duties, they must respect the The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Police Misconduct can be considered as inappropriate behaviour and illegal actions taken by an officer whether they are on or off duty. This includes harassment or inappropriate physical contact against someone.
Beyond physical encounters, police misconduct may take the form of verbal abuse including inappropriate comments made to someone about their race, gender, etc. get
Situations where police misconduct can occur include (but not limited to):
- Excessive force
- Sexual assault
- Taser injuries
- Racial profiling
- Wrongful shootings
- Illegal search and seizure
- Unnecessary strip-searching
- Forced confessions
- False imprisonment
- Prison abuse
It is also illegal for police officers to deny basic constitutional rights, such as the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.
However, there is a fine line between force that is necessary to respond to a situation and force that is considered to be brutality. Each situation should be assessed on a case by case basis by an experienced criminal defence lawyer like Rishma Gupta.
How to Respond to Police Misconduct
If you believe you are the victim of police misconduct, it may be pursued as a criminal and/or civil matter depending on the circumstance.
If the incident resulted in physical harm, the police officer may be charged and held in custody. Officers held in custody could be allowed to leave on bail. They would likely be unable to continue working as an officer or contact you until the matter is resolved.
During an investigation into police misconduct, it may be required that you discuss the matter with the police investigating this case. It is best for you to have the advice of a criminal lawyer during this process.
It is important to have all of your evidence in order when you bring a suit for police misconduct. Take a record of what happened when the alleged police misconduct occurred. Write down notes of what happened as soon as possible. Use your phone to take photos of any bodily injury.
Keep all of your medical bills including hospital bills as well as any bills for medication or therapy. You should also take note of any witnesses who may have observed the police brutality.
Pursuing Police Misconduct as a Civil Case
While suing the police may seem daunting, it has been successfully done in past cases and it is important that you get the advice of an experienced lawyer to determine the best course of action in your case. It is possible that you may receive a settlement or payment for suffering if your case is successful.
Contact a Lawyer about Your Police Misconduct or Brutality Case
If you believe you have been a victim of police mistreatment or misconduct, the first thing that you should do is seek medical attention if necessary. After ensuring that you are healthy you should document what happened to you and then discuss your case with an experienced lawyer.
Contact Rishma Gupta today to discuss the details of your case. Rishma Gupta has successfully represented victims of police misconduct including recent successes from Toronto to Thunder Bay, and across Ontario.