The job of the police service is to serve and protect the community, including you. But police officers are not above human flaws and can make mistakes or have poor judgement. Even if you have committed a crime or have been lawfully pulled over, a cop never has the right to harass you.
Police brutality and misconduct are not new issues. If you follow the news, you see many reports of abuse of power among the police force, with victims claiming racial, sexual, verbal, physical, and other types of abuse at the hands of a cop.
Do you suspect a cop has recently harassed you? Discover what harassment is and how you can seek justice for your pain.
What is Police Harassment?
Harassment in general is any form of intimidation or pressure and can include name-calling, physical touch (pushing, shoving, etc), threats, and outright violence. In the police world, harassment is referred to as police misconduct, and it is illegal. Example of misconduct include:
- Roughly manhandling you during cuffing
- Name-calling or using racial or gender slurs
- Threatening entry to your home without a warrant
- Threatening removal of your children
- Demanding identification or vehicle searching without cause
- Sexual advancements
Harassment will make you feel uncomfortable and violated, but you do have rights. Write down exactly how you were treated by the police officer who harassed you and how you responded and follow the next steps to justice.
Do Not Break the Law
Here’s the thing: if you are harassed by a police officer and fight back verbally or physically, you will be arrested for resisting arrest, assaulting an officer, or another serious charge. Instead, you need to stay calm. Repeatedly ask the police officer in question to stop harassing you (be specific if you can, such as “Stop touching my leg”) and allow any watching witnesses to record the incident.
Don’t Report to the Police
Here’s another thing: reporting police misconduct to the police is not likely to get you far. The reason for this is simple: cops protect their own. Your local police department doesn’t want to have the bad reputation of a bad cop on their hands and will want to downplay your situation as much as possible to preserve their station’s reputation.
If you do report the police officer who arrested you for misconduct, take a witness with you to report everything they have heard and seen while you filled out paperwork and spoke to higher authorities on the matter.
Hire a Lawyer
A lawyer will work with you to create a case against the police officer who assaulted you. Your lawyer understands the legal process and what type of claim to create to help bring you justice. Since you are filing a case against the law, it’s very important to hire a lawyer who is skilled in harassment and wrongful arrest charges.
Your lawyer will want any witness information regarding your case, police reports that have been filed (by you or the police officer involved), and any reports of contact that you’ve had with the police department since being harassed.
You have rights as a citizen when you are harassed by the police, so don’t stay silent. Many people experience and report police brutality, and you can win your case with the right lawyer. Call a lawyer as soon as you can; the sooner you report harassment by the police, the sooner your case can move forward.
Being harassed by the police is a scary and frustrating experience. You don’t have to go through your experience alone and you can find justice. The law experts at Simms & Associates are able to bring you the justice you deserve. Call our office today.