When excessive force causes serious injury or death, victims may be able to recover financial compensation by contacting a personal injury attorney and filing a lawsuit against the officer and the applicable agency. George Floyd’s death illustrates the alarming trend of police brutality in the United States.
What Is Police Brutality?
When law enforcement officers use force that exceeds the amount necessary to diffuse an incident or protect themselves or others from harm, it is referred to as “police brutality”. Police Brutality can constitute a variety of actions including, but not limited to:
- Unjustified Taser Use
- Misuse of Pepper Spray or Another Chemical
- Unlawful Beatings with Police Batons or Other Weapons
- Restraining Individuals in Positions that Impair Breathing
- Unnecessary Shootings
How Many People Die at the Hands of Police?
According to U.S. News & World Report, over 1,000 victims were killed by police harm in 2019. Approximately 54% were people of color. Researchers included information about deaths caused by shootings, beatings, restraints, intentional hits by police vehicles, chemicals, and takings by law enforcement officers who were on-duty and off-duty.
Recently, George Floyd’s filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin after the officer was caught on video pressing his knee to the unarmed black man’s neck for nearly nine minutes, ultimately causing his death. Three other officers who were at the scene and the City of Minneapolis are also named in the lawsuit. The complaint alleges that the four former officers violated Floyd’s Fourth Amendment rights with the “excessive use of unjustified, excessive, illegal and deadly force.” The incident sparked a national protest of police brutality.
Holding Police Liable for Police Brutality
All too often, officers who injure or kill people using excessive force are not brought to justice and their victims are never compensated because the injured never file a civil suit, police deny wrongdoing, and/or other officers and agencies attempt to cover up the police brutality. Law enforcement officers and their governing bodies must be held accountable when they use excessive force and someone is hurt.
Victims who are injured by police brutality may be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical bills by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible parties. If police misconduct causes the death of a loved one, surviving family members may be eligible to recover compensation by filing a wrongful death claim.