Police confidence has plummeted since the murder of George Floyd and the conduct of law enforcement officers in the shooting incident in Robb Elementary located in Uvalde, Texas. However, despite this mix of brutality and cowardice it is true that lawsuits against police agencies and police officers are as hard to pursue as when the late Mr. Floyd took his last breath. If you are planning to bring a suit against a police force and/or police officers, be aware of any obstacles that could arise when you attempt to hold the law enforcement agency accountable for their acts:
The Evidence is difficult to obtain
Police-related lawsuits can be difficult to pursue because of the lack of evidence. Most lawsuits revolve around situations where the sole witnesses are both the plaintiff and the police officer, for instance in police stops. When it comes to those “he said/she did it” instances, a lot of juries and judges tend to put the witness in the position of the plaintiff. Dash and body cameras are a significant step in resolving the issue of evidence however they are not completely foolproof. Some jurisdictions do not require officers carry cameras. There are officers who deliberately shut off their cameras for their body and at times police agencies may not divulge the footage from their body cameras. If this happens an experienced attorney must be able to force the police department the required video footage to the use in court.
Qualified Immunity Limits Legal actions against government officials
Officers of the police are protected by the law that guarantees qualified immunity. The doctrine of qualified immunity shields police officers from liability in the event of “reasonable however erroneous judgments regarding unanswered legal issues.” It is the most difficult defense to defeat in certain circumstances because officers are given a the ability to make important choices that could cause serious injuries or even death. According to this theory that is in place, the only legal claims allowed against police officers is those where individuals “clearly recognized” legal or constitutional rights are breached. The doctrine of qualified immunity that requires significant study of law for the purpose of successfully holding an officer accountable.
Police Are Not Required to protect specific individuals
Police officers are not required to fulfill the legal obligation to guard certain people. This law is based on limitations in time or resources, as well as the possibility of a misguided but fair judgement. In the case of an officer is contacted by two calls from people seeking assistance on opposite sides of the town, he must decide which one to take action on. If the police officer takes action on the first request but does not respond to the second one that person who called the second phone call is not able to claim against the police officer due to his inability to go to his aid. This means it is very difficult for a person to sue police because they failed to protect them particularly.
Do I need an attorney if I want to sue the police?
It is recommended to contact an attorney who handles personal injury cases If you suspect you might are suing the police or a department. It is crucial to keep all evidence you can and include any testimony of witnesses or footage. An experienced attorney will assist in the whole process from gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses through negotiating with the attorney general and defending your case before the courts.