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Excessive Force

Excessive force refers to unnecessary, inappropriate, or unwarranted use of force upon civilians by law enforcement officers. Law enforcement officials are important and indispensable to the smooth running of our communities. They are trained to effectively handle situations that may involve violence or high tension. They are also legally allowed to use force to defuse these situations where necessary. But they still have an obligation to act within the bounds of the law.

In situations where a person is calm, respectful and responsive, there is no need for force. Excessive force by a police officer can include physical actions like punching, slapping, manhandling or unnecessary use of a taser or stun gun. It can also include verbal intimidation or any other inappropriate actions by these law enforcement officials. 

Where you have been a victim of such excessive force at the hands of a police officer or other law enforcement personnel, you may be able to sue. This is abuse and a violation of your human and civil rights – whether or not you have committed a crime. 

If you have been a victim of excessive force by officers of the law, you should speak to an excessive force lawyer for help. An experienced excessive force attorney will explain how your rights have been violated under the law and the legal options that you can pursue for redress. 

At The Law Offices of Haytham Faraj we have represented countless individuals who were victimized by the same law enforcement officers entrusted with their safety. We have over 25 years of experience handling civil rights lawsuits, meaning you can rest assured that we will help you secure justice and the compensation you deserve. Call our law office to schedule a free consultation today. 

When Has an Officer Used Excessive Force?

You might be able to file a civil claim against the police force if an officer has caused you injury due to excessive force. Even if you were in the wrong at the time, you have a right to fair, decent, and humane treatment. 

To determine if excessive force has been used on you or a loved one, we need to consider the surrounding circumstances in that moment. In situations where you were not showing any form of aggressive behavior, any form of force may be excessive. If the suspect was reluctant to obey at first but was eventually responsive, any more force than absolutely necessary may be excessive. 

In filing a civil claim for excessive force, one obstacle that usually lies before plaintiffs is the burden of proof. A plaintiff must prove that the law enforcement official alleged to have used excessive force was responsible for your injuries and or emotional distress. Your claim may include the following: 

  • That the officer acted with disregard to the necessary standards of arrest
  • That the officer’s conduct was reckless and dangerous 
  • That the officer was malicious and intended to inflict distress on the victim
  • That the victim was injured or suffered emotionally due to the officer’s actions. 

Types of Excessive Force

Excessive force by the police manifests in various forms and examples. The most common claims brought against the police force and law enforcement agencies include false arrest, malicious prosecution, unreasonable use of force, and sexual assault.

  • False Arrest: This is the most common claim often brought against police officers. It usually involves unlawful search and seizure. However, Police can arrest if they believed their information to be correct whether or not it is true. To prevail on a false arrest claim, it has to be proven that the arresting officer did not have enough to believe that a crime has been committed. 
  • Malicious Prosecution: This claim asserts that the arresting officer deprived the victim of the right to liberty. To win, it has to be proven that the police officer started a criminal proceeding, the proceeding ended in your favor, there was no probable cause and that the proceedings were brought with malice towards you, the victim. 
  • Unreasonable Use of Force: This often involves serious physical injury or death. Police brutality, police shootings and sexual assault by police officers all boils down to abuse of power and unreasonable use of force. In cases such as this if the police officer did not intend to but used unreasonable force, they are liable. On the other hand, if the officer’s intentions, motivations or expressions were bad but they used reasonable force, they cannot be liable for unreasonable use of force. 

Civil rights claims are important because these rights are the foundation of a just society. They serve as a means to check the actions of law enforcement agencies, and ensure that citizens do not have to face the implications of police misconduct. However, bringing a claim against law enforcement agencies may feel overwhelming. Despite this, you have nothing to fear with our excessive force attorneys on your side. 

How Our Excessive Force Lawyer Can Help You 

If you have been a victim of excessive force or police brutality, it might seem as though the odds are stacked against you. This is because, not only have your civil rights been violated, you are also going up against an institution that is known to protect its own. 

Many police departments deny responsibility and cover up bad actions. Very often, officers at the scene refuse to say the truth and hold their fellow officers accountable. It would be almost impossible to go against this institution without skilled representation. 

Regardless of these odds, The Law Offices of Haytham Faraj is more than equipped to help get justice and seek compensation. We have over 25 years of experience, expertise and knowledge in fighting for the civil rights of Chicago & Los Angeles residents. We handle claims involving wrongful death, excessive force during arrest, excessive taser use, wrongful shooting, wrongful arrest, denial of medical aid, denial of medical treatment etc. Be assured that we have the resources to go to trial if need be. Start the process of enforcing your civil rights by schedule a free consultation with our attorneys today. Call The Law Offices of Haytham Faraj at 312-635-0800 (Chicago) or 323-902-0730 (Los Angeles) to begin.

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