Excessive Force and Police
The police, sheriffs, highway patrol and other Utah law enforcement agencies have certain protocols they must follow when they take individuals in custody. Many law enforcement agencies and departments implement their own policies relating to the use of force. Those agencies and departments should train their employees how those policies apply to them individually and they should conduct agency wide training to implement those policies.
Many law enforcement agencies fail to train their officers, sheriffs, troopers in the appropriate use of force. Some fail to properly train their personnel. Some individual personnel use excessive force in spite of their training. Regardless, if a law enforcement officer uses excessive force you may have a remedy under federal civil rights law.
Federal Civil Rights Violations
Federal law gives individuals who have been wronged by the government, such as when police cause injury through excessive force. In such situations the injured party can sue the police department, city, state or other government agency for damages. There must actually be verifiable, tangible damages, however.
Many people believe that if the police act offensively they can sue them. The police, however, are typically very offensive to those they are arresting or taking into custody so the standard is a little higher.
The police can be sued for the use of excessive force, but that force needs to lead to a physical injury. Placing your hands behind your back and putting you in cuffs does not fall under excessive force absent extenuating circumstances. Excessive force takes physical violence outside the bounds of what is standard for taking individuals into custody. In extreme cases it involves serious beatings like those seen with Rodney King, resulting in hospitalization and permanent physical damage.
Your Utah Law Firm for Civil Rights Claims
If you believe you are the victim a law enforcement agency’s use of excessive force, contact us at 801.413.1753 to speak to one of our civil rights lawyers. Don’t delay as the statute of limitations runs quickly on civil rights claims. Don’t be the victim of police abusing their power, talk to a lawyer today.