Police officers may intentionally or recklessly engage in brutality when they use excessive force, falsely arrest or imprison a suspect, or assault and abuse suspects in their custody. When the police commit acts of misconduct, they should be held accountable for their behavior. We need this accountability to restore the public’s trust in law enforcement and ensure those who have been harmed by their wrongdoing can make as full a recovery as possible for their injuries and losses.
If you have been the victim of law enforcement misconduct, turn to a Lancaster police brutality lawyer for help. At The Zeiger Firm, attorney Brian J. Zeiger works tirelessly to hold officers responsible for the harm they inflict through their misconduct. We know how to respond when police officers violate the civil and constitutional rights of suspects and other individuals.
Our goal is to obtain the best possible results for our clients. You can trust us to meticulously investigate your claim and build the strongest case possible on your behalf. We will fight for the maximum financial recovery in your case.
If you have been harmed as a result of police brutality, don’t hesitate to learn about your legal options for pursuing compensation. Contact a Lancaster police brutality lawyer at The Zeiger Firm today. Our initial consultations are always free and confidential.
Causes of Police Brutality in Lancaster
We trust that the police in Lancaster will not overstep their authority and use excessive force or violate the rights of individual citizens. Still, incidents of police brutality and misconduct occur. Examples of factors that may lead to police engaging in misconduct include:
- Inadequate officer training and continuing education that would ensure officers understand the limits of their authority, the rights of civilians and suspects, and the proper use of force
- Officers being untrained in controlling their emotions and impulses in high-stress situations such as when they pursue fleeing or resisting suspects or confront potentially armed individuals
- Insufficient investigation procedures and mechanisms to respond to complaints of officer misconduct or to discipline officers who engage in misconduct
- Officers taking the law into their own hands or intentionally disregarding department procedures or civilian rights when they think that law enforcement efforts are unreasonably restricted by the law
- Intentional bigotry, innate or subconscious bias, or institutionalized discrimination, which can influence the way officers respond to situations
- “Closing the ranks” to protect fellow officers who engage in misconduct, such as failing to report incidents or actively covering up evidence of brutality or misconduct
Common Types of Police Brutality and Misconduct in Lancaster
Common examples of behavior that constitutes police brutality and misconduct in the Lancaster area include:
- False or unlawful arrest, which occurs when officers arrest an individual for committing a crime without sufficient probable cause.
- False imprisonment, such as detaining an individual without probable cause or holding a suspect for longer than allowed.
- Excessive force, which involves the use of force disproportionate to the threat posed by a suspect to officers or to the public, or the use of more force than is necessary to subdue and arrest a resisting suspect.
- Deadly force, including the use of unauthorized force that has a high risk of causing serious bodily injury or death, or improper use of less-than-lethal force that causes death. Police may also fire on an unarmed person.
- Forced confession, or a confession obtained through threats of violence or criminal prosecution against a suspect or the suspect’s family and acquaintances, through psychological abuse, or through withholding food, water, or sleep.
- Sexual assault or harassment, including subjecting an individual to unwanted sexual contact while in law enforcement custody.
- Racial profiling, such as when police officers suspect individuals of committing a crime based on their color, race, or national origin.
- Strip searches performed in part or solely to embarrass or humiliate a suspect, or a strip search that is performed without any lawful justification.
- Blackmail or coercion to secure the cooperation of witnesses, regardless of whether a witness can provide truthful or reliable evidence or testimony.
How a Lancaster Police Brutality Attorney Can Help You
Police brutality claims are some of the most difficult civil claims to pursue, given the legal immunity and wide latitude that police officers and departments are granted in the course of discharging their duties. A Lancaster police brutality lawyer from The Zeiger Firm can assist you with your case by:
- Thoroughly investigating the underlying facts and circumstances of your police brutality case to recover evidence that can be used to persuasively argue for your rights to recover compensation
- Identifying the officers who were involved in the misconduct and the police departments or government agencies that can be held liable to compensate you
- Documenting all your damages, including the full extent of your past and future expected losses
- Making sure that your claims are timely filed under notice deadlines and statutes of limitations
- Aggressively pursuing maximum compensation in your case, whether through negotiating a settlement with the officers and departments or by taking your claims to court, if necessary, to advocate for the full financial recovery and justice you deserve
Evidence We May Use to Prove a Police Brutality Claim
When your rights have been violated by police brutality or misconduct, you may be entitled to file a legal claim to demand compensation and accountability. However, police brutality claims normally require considerable evidence to prove that officers acted unreasonably or unlawfully and deprived you of your established civil or constitutional rights. At The Zeiger Firm, the evidence we use to help prove your claim may include:
- Cellphone video recorded by eyewitnesses and eyewitness statements
- Police vehicle dashcam footage
- Officer bodycam footage
- Surveillance video from an interrogation room or holding cell
- Officers’ employment and disciplinary records
- Police records, such as use-of-force, vehicle pursuit, or arrest reports
- Photographs of visible injuries you suffered
- Medical records from your treatment
What Can You Recover in a Police Brutality Claim?
If you have been the victim of police brutality in Lancaster, you may have suffered injuries and other harm that can leave you with losses for years to come. At The Zeiger Firm, we can file a police brutality or misconduct claim on your behalf and help you pursue financial recovery for:
- Expenses for medical treatment, including rehabilitation, therapy, emergency hospitalization, surgeries and other procedures, prescriptions, or physical/occupational therapy
- Expenses incurred to care for permanent injuries and disabilities that result from your injuries or harm
- Loss of income when you miss work while treating and rehabilitating injuries suffered from police brutality or misconduct
- Loss of earning capacity if you lose your job or other employment opportunities due to a false arrest/imprisonment or wrongful prosecution/conviction
- Emotional trauma and distress inflicted by egregious or outrageous conduct of police officers as well as for expenses for mental health treatment
Tips for Protecting Your Rights in a Police Brutality Case
If you are the victim of police misconduct or brutality, you can take actions to protect your rights to recover compensation for the harm that you suffer:
- Don’t resist arrest. Even if you are being wrongfully arrested, resisting arrest still constitutes its own crime and can justify the police using greater force against you to try to subdue you.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Get checked out for any physical injuries or other medical conditions you may have suffered. Take photos of any visible injuries.
- Keep copies of bills and invoices and other records. You need to track all expenses that you incur during your recovery. Also, save pay stubs or other records of your income if you miss work or lose your job as a result of the police misconduct.
- Avoid posting updates on social media. Anything you say on social media can be used against you in any criminal case as well as in your police brutality/misconduct claim.
Speak to an experienced and aggressive Lancaster police brutality attorney as soon as possible to review your rights and options. Attorney Brian J. Zeiger can discuss the next steps to take in pursuing justice and accountability for the harm you have had to endure.
Talk to a Police Brutality Lawyer in Lancaster Now
If you have been victimized by law enforcement, contact The Zeiger Firm today for a free initial consultation with Lancaster police brutality lawyer Brian J. Zeiger. We will review your case and explain how we can guide you through the process, build a strong case on your behalf, and fight for the fair compensation and justice you deserve. We’re ready to stand up for your rights.