Law enforcement officers cannot be allowed to unlawfully harm citizens. When the police engage in misconduct or use excessive force, they must be held accountable. If police misconduct or brutality has caused harm to you, an Allentown police brutality lawyer from The Zeiger Firm will help you pursue the justice and compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Attorney Brian J. Zeiger works diligently to protect the rights and interests of those who have been harmed by the misconduct of police officers and law enforcement agencies in Allentown and surrounding communities. The Zeiger Firm is known for its painstaking preparation and attention to detail. You can count on us to fight fiercely for you.
Don’t put off starting your police brutality or misconduct claim. If you have been injured or suffered loss after being victimized by police misconduct or brutality in Allentown, contact us today for a free and confidential consultation. Learn more about how we can help you pursue accountability and justice for the harm you have suffered.
Common Types of Police Brutality and Misconduct in Allentown, Pennslyvania
Brian J. Zeiger has years of experience representing clients in Allentown and surrounding areas in the criminal and civil justice system. He knows that some of the most frequent examples of police brutality or misconduct include:
- False or unlawful arrest or the arrest or detention of a person despite knowing or recklessly disregarding the lack of sufficient probable cause for the arrest
- False imprisonment, which can involve detaining an individual without probable cause or for longer than permitted under the law or department regulations
- Excessive force, or the use of an amount of force disproportionate to the level of threat that is posed by a suspect to officers or to the public, or disproportionate to the level of force necessary to detain or arrest a suspect
- Deadly force, including the improper use of less-than-lethal devices that leads to the death of a suspect or citizen, or the use of unlawful, life-threatening physical force
- Police shooting, which involves officers’ discharge of their service firearms under situations that do not require the use of deadly force
- Forced confession, including obtaining a confession from a suspect through threats of physical violence or criminal prosecution of the suspect or their family and friends, or using torture techniques like deprivation of food or sleep
- Sexual assault or harassment, including rape, unwanted sexual contact, or demanding sexual favors in return for preferential treatment
- Racial profiling, or the assumption that an individual is engaged in criminal behavior based on their race, color, or national origin
- Strip searches are performed to sexually abuse or harass a suspect or to embarrass or humiliate
- Blackmail or coercion, including threatening violence or criminal prosecution to induce a suspect or witness to provide false testimony or evidence
What Can You Recover in a Police Brutality Claim?
A victim of police misconduct or brutality in Allentown can suffer lifelong consequences and effects. These can include:
- Physical or emotional harm
- Economic expenses
- Financial and professional losses
In a police brutality claim, you may be entitled to recover compensation for these losses. Although no amount of money can undo what you have gone through, compensation in a police brutality claim can give you some measure of justice. At The Zeiger Firm, we can pursue a financial recovery for:
- Medical expenses incurred from treating physical injuries and health conditions caused by police brutality or misconduct
- Long-term expenses incurred to treat or care for permanent injuries and disabilities
- Lost income, including from time missed from work while treating injuries sustained from police brutality or misconduct, the loss of working ability due to permanent disabilities, or the loss of a job or employment opportunities following a false arrest or wrongful prosecution and conviction
- Compensation for emotional distress that arises from extreme or outrageous behavior due to the police’s intentional or reckless conduct, including the costs of mental health treatment for the emotional distress
What to Do If You Were the Victim of Police Brutality in Allentown, PA
When you become the victim of an incident of police brutality or misconduct in Allentown, you can take steps to preserve your rights and options for pursuing a legal claim against those responsible for the harm and loss that you suffer:
- Don’t resist arrest. While you can defend yourself from an unlawful physical assault in an encounter with a police officer, you cannot resist an arrest. This is true even if you are being wrongfully arrested. Attempting to resist arrest can justify the police using greater force to detain you. It may end up negatively impacting your police brutality claim.
- Identify any bystanders or eyewitnesses. If they are recording the incident on their cellphones, you can later reach out to them, if necessary, for their footage or testimony for your police brutality claim.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible. You want to make sure your injuries are promptly addressed for the sake of your health. Your medical records will play an important role in your police brutality claim. Keep copies of all your medical records.
- Preserve any bills or invoices for expenses you incur during your recovery. You should also keep records of your income if you miss work or lose employment because of police misconduct.
- Avoid discussing the incident or your legal claim on social media. Anything you say on social media could potentially harm your police brutality claim.
Finally, speak to an Allentown police brutality and misconduct attorney at The Zeiger Firm as soon as possible to go over your legal rights and options and to begin the process of preparing and pursuing your case.
How an Allentown Police Brutality Attorney Can Help You
If you have been the victim of police brutality or misconduct, Allentown police brutality attorney Brian J. Zeiger can help you to pursue a claim by:
- Conducting an independent investigation of the misconduct or brutality. He won’t simply rely on the results of internal police investigations.
- Identifying eyewitnesses or bystanders who may have critical evidence to support your claim such as cellphone videos or testimony about what they observed.
- Documenting your injuries and losses to fully support your claim. Our law firm knows how to comb through court files, law enforcement records, medical records, and other evidence in order to document a claim for just compensation.
Identifying the officers involved in the misconduct and determining what government agencies and departments can be held liable for the harm you have suffered.
- Ensuring that your legal claims are properly and timely filed to preserve your rights to recover compensation. If you miss a deadline, it can have a devastating effect on your ability to pursue a claim.
- Aggressively pursuing maximum financial recovery for you through a negotiated settlement or in court and at trial, if necessary.
Evidence We May Use to Prove a Police Brutality Claim
Holding police officers and law enforcement departments accountable for incidents of brutality and misconduct often requires developing persuasive evidence and arguments. Law enforcement officers and departments are entitled to extensive immunity under the law. However, this immunity does not extend to conduct involving intentional or reckless deprivation of citizens’ rights and freedoms.
Some of the evidence that we may use to prove the liability of officers and departments for police brutality or misconduct include:
- Eyewitness or bystander statements and cellphone video footage recorded
- Police cruiser dashcam footage and officer bodycam footage
- Police station or jailhouse surveillance camera footage
- Police reports, including arrest, use-of-force, and internal investigation reports
- Medical records from the treatment of your injuries as well as photos of visible injuries
- Disciplinary and employment records of the officers involved in the misconduct
- Expert testimony on firearms, less-than-lethal devices, or proper police procedures
Causes of Police Brutality in Allentown, Pennsylvania
Even though police undergo extensive training on how to use the proper procedures in encounters with citizens, brutality, and misconduct by police officers remain an all-too-common occurrence. While it may not make sense that people sworn to uphold the law would choose to break it, various causes and factors can create the conditions for police misconduct and brutality, including:
- Insufficient training of police officers regarding the limits of police power, proper use of force, de-escalation techniques, or handling and supervision of suspects or detainees
- Officers choosing to take the law into their own hands after concluding that the system unreasonably restricts law enforcement efforts or does not sufficiently punish criminals
- Failing to control aggressive or violent impulses during high-stress situations such as high-speed chases, pursuing suspects on foot, subduing a suspect resisting arrest, or confronting potentially armed suspects
- Engaging in overt, innate, and institutional racism and bigotry toward protected groups
- Conducting an inadequate internal investigation and disciplinary procedures
- Solidarity or “closing ranks” among police officers in response to complaints of police brutality or misconduct, including failing to report witnessed incidents, looking the other way and failing to intervene to stop brutality or misconduct, or actively covering up evidence
Contact Our Police Brutality Lawyers in Allentown For a Free Consultation
If you have been physically, emotionally, and/or financially harmed by police brutality or misconduct, reach out to The Zeiger Firm today for a free case evaluation. Talk with Brian J. Zeiger, a lawyer for police brutality, about your legal rights and options for pursuing financial compensation from the officers and departments responsible for the harm you have suffered.