The police are tasked with upholding the law so it can be a huge shock if they have broken it and made you a victim. Police misconduct can include many things from excessive force to wrongful arrest and many other things in between. If you feel you have been a victim of police misconduct, there are things you need to do if you want to pursue the matter and see justice done. Here is a guide to your best course of action.
Write An Account of the Incident
It is important to write down everything you can remember as soon as you can. Even if it seems like a small fact, it could be crucial if the incident goes to court. You are likely to remember more when it is still fresh in your mind whereas waiting a couple of days can cloud your memory. However, you are unlikely to remember everything in the exact sequence it happened, so make lots of notes and revisit them as you remember things.
Gather all the relevance you think might be relevant. Take pictures of where the incident happened if you can and get photos of any bruising or marks that have been caused as a result of the police misconduct. Many marks don’t come out properly for a couple of days, so take photos of injuries over the course of a week so that their progress can be seen clearly. If you have been to a medical practitioner or hospital as a result of your injuries, ask them for written records confirming your attendance and the extent of your injuries.
Speak to Witnesses
If anyone saw what happened, you should speak to them and ask them to act as a witness. If the case goes to court, it will be helpful to have someone who can clarify the incident and who saw it from a different angle than you. It may be that you were too caught up in what was happening to see much at the time so a witness can be extremely useful.
Ask For Police Records
You are entitled to ask for a copy of the police incident report so make sure you do this. You are also entitled to file an open records request which entitles you to any information that is held regarding the event such as written reports or video evidence.
File A Complaint
You can file a complaint with the law enforcement agency involved such as the Sheriff’s office or Chief of Police. It is best to do this in writing, as the agency has a complaints procedure and a duty to investigate it.
Contact A Lawyer
Even with good evidence, a police misconduct complaint can be difficult to prove. Hire an experienced professional, such as Romanucci & Blandin Law to give you the best chance of success.
Don’t suffer in silence if you believe you have been the victim of police misconduct. Follow this guide to help you to achieve justice and an outcome you are satisfied with.