The Philadelphia Police Brutality Lawyers at The Zeiger Firm understand that when the police use excessive force in doing their job, the police must be held accountable for their actions. Our Philadelphia Police Brutality Attorneys hold arresting officers accountable for their actions. At The Zeiger Firm, our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Police Brutality Civil Rights lawyers have one goal – to represent every client zealously in order to obtain the best results possible in each case. Because defending the accused is a core practice area of our firm, our Philadelphia Police Brutality Lawyers know how to deal with police officers who violate the public’s trust by using excessive force. We also recognize that, at times, the police who are supposed to protect us, act outside of their authority, often causing serious physical, psychological and emotional injuries, when police brutality occurs. We aggressively fight against police brutality and make sure that our clients are compensated for this conduct.
Police brutality often occurs when the police use excessive force, make improper or illegal arrests, or falsely imprison a person. When police officers use excessive force or make a false arrest, they have violated your civil rights, and your state and federal Constitutional rights. You have to right make claims against them under state and federal law. There are different types of claims depending upon what the police did, although many cases are filed under Title 42, Section 1983 of the U.S. Code.
The most frequent police brutality claims allege the use of excessive force/police brutality, false or unlawful arrest, or false imprisonment. An excessive force claim arises when police and other law enforcement agents respond to a situation using more physical force than necessary to control the situation. Often, police officers used a weapon or unnecessarily beat a person. False arrest claims arise when a police officer arrests someone without having “probable cause” that the person is committing or has committed a crime and that the person being arrested is a responsible party. Finally, a false imprisonment claim arises when police or other law enforcement agents use unauthorized bodily restraint, not necessarily placing them in jail.
At The Zeiger Firm, we have represented clients in State and Federal courts who have been injured by police brutality, and we handle these cases aggressively. Many of these cases require immediate investigation, and we know that prompt action can be the difference between winning and losing these cases. That is why, when you need a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania attorney to represent you, a family member, or a friend in a police brutality case, contact The Zeiger Firm, who represent every client zealously in order to obtain the best results possible in each case. To arrange a consultation, please give us a call at 215-546-0340 or send us an email via the form below.
Claims of Excessive Force by Police Officers
The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects you from unreasonable search and seizure, which includes protection from the unreasonable force used by police officers. In this day and age, excessive force by law enforcement is all too common and serious injuries and fatalities caused by police are regularly in the news. It can be difficult to know when an officer has used excessive force and when you may have the right to take legal action to hold officers accountable for their illegal actions. Our highly experienced police brutality lawyers can examine what happened, advise you of your rights, and guide you through every step of a police brutality claim.
Like anyone else, police officers have the right to defend themselves from acts of violence and physical harm. In addition, they have the right to use reasonable force to apprehend a suspect and to avoid any further risk to the community. However, their right to use force against suspects is far from unlimited
Force by officers is considered unreasonable when that level of force was beyond what was necessary to make an arrest or defend themselves. Even if a suspect actually committed the crime in question, they still should not be subjected to excessive force and injuries during their arrest. If police are not at risk of harm and a suspect is not resisting, officers cannot use force and cause injury to the suspect. If the suspect is resisting or trying to be violent, police can only use the amount of force necessary to protect themselves and the public.
One particularly important matter in recent years is an officer’s ability or inability to use deadly force against a suspect.
Deadly force is only lawful under the following circumstances:
- An officer was at risk of great bodily injury or death
- The suspect was trying to flee and the police had probable cause to believe the suspect was a serious threat to the public
If a suspect swings a punch at an officer during an arrest, the officer does not have the right to shoot the suspect because deadly force is disproportionate to the force used by the resisting suspect. In addition, if a suspect is running away after committing a relatively minor or nonviolent crime, the police likely do not have the probable cause needed to use deadly force to stop the suspect.
Just because a police officer uses a taser instead of a gun does not mean that they did not use excessive force. Using a taser is not always justified, especially if a suspect is not actively resisting or is not a danger to themselves or others. Each case involving a taser should be individually examined.
Victims of excessive force by police often suffer serious and life-changing injuries. In addition, being attacked excessively by police can be a highly traumatic experience that can result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other mental issues. Not only do victims face extensive costs of treatment but also may suffer permanent disabilities from their injuries. They also experience emotional trauma and other lasting consequences of the illegal force. The law provides such victims with the right to take legal action to hold police officers responsible for their illegal actions.
There are different ways to take action in this situation and our experienced police brutality lawyers can help. If you have been injured due to unreasonable force or if you have lost a loved one due to deadly force by a law enforcement officer, you should not wait to contact The Zeiger Firm to discuss your rights and options.