Los Angeles Police Brutality Lawyer

Los Angeles Police Brutality Lawyer

Police brutality is when police use more force than needed, hurting people instead of protecting them, breaking the trust we should have in them. In Los Angeles, victims can be left with lasting physical and emotional scars. As a victim, you have legal rights, which include the ability to file a lawsuit or an insurance claim for compensation. A police brutality lawyer can assist you through the legal process, aiming to secure the maximum compensation and justice for you. Below, Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC will provide important information about police brutality, including its types and causes, your legal options, the potential financial compensation you can receive, and the role of a police brutality lawyer in your case.

Types of Police Brutality

When it comes to police brutality, most people think of physical brutality (excessive force). This is when police use more force than needed, like hitting or using weapons when they don’t need to. Then there’s verbal abuse. This is when police say things that are hurtful or threatening. Another type is psychological intimidation. This means using fear to control someone, like threatening to arrest them without a reason. Lastly, there’s sexual abuse. Sadly, this includes any unwanted sexual action by a police officer.



Causes and Culture of Police Brutality

One big reason for police brutality is poor training. Sometimes, police aren’t trained well enough to handle tough situations calmly. Another cause is the culture within the police department. If a department doesn’t have strict rules against brutality, it might happen more often. Also, there’s a lack of accountability. If police officers think they won’t get in trouble for being too rough, they might be more likely to do it. Lastly, there’s bias. This means treating someone unfairly because of their race, religion, or other personal traits.

In Los Angeles, police brutality can happen in different places. One common place is during traffic stops. This is when you’re pulled over by the police while driving. Another place it happens is in neighborhoods with a lot of crime. Police might be more on edge in these areas. It can also happen during protests. When lots of people are gathered for a protest, things can get tense and lead to rough treatment by the police. Lastly, it can happen in police stations or jails, where people might be out of the public eye.

The Los Angeles Police Department’s overall performance was rated at just 32% by Police Scorecard based on criteria like force used, accountability, and funding. This score is part of a broader evaluation of 356 California police departments. Key statistics include 154 police killings from 2013 to 2021, with Black individuals 4.4 times more likely to be killed by police than White individuals. Out of 14,794 civilian complaints of police misconduct from 2016 to 2021, only 4% were resolved in favor of civilians. The police made over 649,000 arrests during this period, with more than half for minor, non-violent offenses. Racial disparities were evident, with Black people 5.7 times more likely to be arrested for these low-level offenses compared to white people.

Who is Liable for Police Brutality?

The police officer who directly caused harm is often the first person considered for liability. However, liability can extend beyond the individual officer. The police department employing the officer (e.g., Los Angeles Police Department) can also be held accountable, especially if the incident stemmed from issues like inadequate training or a culture of excessive force.

In some cases, the city or municipality overseeing the police department might be liable too. This is particularly relevant if the problem is linked to systemic issues or a failure to address known problems within the department.

Remember, identifying the liable parties in these incidents requires a thorough investigation into the specific circumstances of each case. The officer’s actions, department policies, and even city regulations can all play a role in determining who is responsible.

Legal Options for a Victim of Police Brutality

If you’ve been a victim of police brutality in Los Angeles, you have legal options to seek justice. The first step is often filing a complaint with the police department. This is important for creating an official record of the incident. However, taking further legal action is usually necessary.

You can file a civil lawsuit against the police officer and possibly their employer, which is usually the city or the police department. This lawsuit can be based on violations of your civil rights. California laws relating to excessive force, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, and false arrest, and federal laws such as 42 USC § 1983, are commonly used in these cases. California law also offers protection against acts of violence or intimidation by law enforcement officers.

It’s important to note that there are strict time limits for filing these claims. In California, you typically have six months to file a claim against a government entity. After this, you can proceed with a lawsuit if your claim is denied or not adequately resolved. Seeking legal assistance to guide you through this process and ensure that your rights are fully represented is a smart idea.

Potential Damages in a Police Brutality Case

When you’re a victim of police brutality, it can change your life a lot. Physically, you might have injuries that take a long time to heal, or that never fully heal. Emotionally, it can be really hard. You might feel scared, angry, or helpless. It can also affect your trust in the police and the law, making you feel unsafe. And there’s the financial side too. You might have medical bills or lose money if you can’t work because of your injuries.

For this reason, in a police brutality case, you can seek different types of damages. These include medical expenses for any injuries you suffered, lost wages if you couldn’t work because of your injuries, and pain and suffering for the physical and emotional distress caused.

In cases where the police officer’s actions were particularly reckless or intentional, you might also be eligible for punitive damages. These are not about compensating you for your losses, but rather about punishing the officer for their wrongful actions and deterring similar behavior by law enforcement in the future.

California law also addresses situations where you may be partly at fault for the incident. Even if you are partly responsible, you could still obtain damages. But the amount you receive gets reduced by the proportion of fault attributed to you.

Finally, in tragic cases that result in death, a wrongful death claim can be pursued by the victim’s family. This can cover funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and loss of companionship.

Steps to Take Following a Bad Encounter With Police

If you’ve experienced police brutality, it’s important to act quickly. First, seek medical help for any injuries. Your health is a top priority. Next, write down everything you remember about the incident, including officers’ names, badge numbers, and the location. If there were witnesses, get their contact information. Take photos of your injuries and the scene if you can. Then, file a complaint with the police department. It’s a good idea to get a copy of the police report if one exists. Lastly, talk to a lawyer who handles police brutality cases. They can advise you on your rights and the next steps to take.

Role of a Police Brutality Lawyer

If you’re a victim of police brutality, a lawyer in this field can be a great help. They’ll listen to your story and explain your rights. A lawyer can help you file a lawsuit against the officers or the police department. They know how to gather evidence, like medical records and witness statements, to support your case. They can also negotiate with the other side to try to get a settlement for you. If your case goes to trial, they will represent you in court. An experienced police brutality lawyer aims to get you fair compensation for your injuries and make sure your voice is heard.

Los Angeles Police Brutality Attorneys

If you’re a victim of police brutality in Los Angeles, talk with a lawyer right away. At Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC, we understand the physical and emotional toll these incidents can take. You have the right to seek compensation and justice, and our experienced attorneys are here to guide you through every step. We’re all about fighting for your rights and ensuring that your voice is heard. Contact Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC by calling (888) 848-5084 or contacting us online for a consultation with a police brutality attorney.

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