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Police Brutality

Albany Police Brutality Attorneys

Advocating for Victims of Police Abuse in Albany, NY

When individuals are taken into custody, the police are responsible for ensuring that they are treated with the appropriate level of force. If an officer uses excessive force or otherwise mistreats a suspect, the victim has the right to take legal action against the officer and the department.

At Horn Wright, LLP, we are committed to protecting the rights of victims of police brutality. We understand how to navigate these types of complex cases and have a proven track record of success. You can rely on our Albany police brutality lawyers to provide the strong legal guidance you need and the compassionate support you deserve.

Call our firm today at (518) 520-4667 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help you.

What Qualifies as Police Brutality?

Police brutality is a form of misconduct that occurs when a police officer uses more force than necessary or engages in inappropriate behavior while on duty. It is important to note that not every instance of police misconduct is considered police brutality, but all of these actions can be grounds for a civil rights lawsuit.

Some common examples of police brutality include:

  • Excessive force: Police officers are trained to use a reasonable amount of force to subdue a suspect. However, if an officer uses more force than necessary, it can be considered excessive.
  • Unreasonable force: Even if an officer uses a reasonable amount of force, it is still considered police brutality if the suspect did not pose a threat to the officer or others.
  • Failure to intervene: If one officer is using excessive or unreasonable force, other officers have a duty to intervene and stop the abuse.
  • Verbal abuse: While not all forms of verbal abuse are considered police misconduct, it can rise to the level of police brutality if the officer is racially or sexually harassing the suspect.
  • Sexual assault: Tragically, some police officers use their position of power to sexually assault suspects.
  • Wrongful arrest: If an officer does not have probable cause to arrest a suspect, the arrest is considered wrongful.
  • Excessive use of restraints: While it is reasonable for an officer to use handcuffs or other restraints when arresting a suspect, it is considered excessive if the officer uses them for an extended period or intentionally causes the suspect pain.

Police brutality is not limited to officers physically abusing suspects. It also includes situations in which an officer fails to provide medical attention to a suspect in need or intentionally inflicts emotional distress on a suspect.

How to Report Police Brutality in Albany

If you are a victim of police brutality, it is important to take the appropriate steps to report the officer and the incident. By doing so, you can help hold the officer accountable and prevent him or her from doing the same thing to someone else.

Here are the steps you should take to report police brutality:

  1. Take photos and videos of your injuries: If you are physically injured, it is important to document your injuries. This can help prove that you were a victim of police brutality.
  2. Seek immediate medical attention: If you are seriously injured, you should go to the hospital right away. Even if you are not, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible. Not only will this ensure that you are okay, but it will also help establish a link between the abuse and your injuries.
  3. Write down everything you remember: As soon as possible, you should write down everything you remember about the incident. Include details such as what happened, where it happened, the names of the officers involved, and if there were any witnesses.
  4. File a complaint: Once you have gathered the necessary evidence, you should file a complaint with the police department. In most cases, you can do this online or by going to the department in person.
  5. Retain a copy of your complaint: After you have filed a complaint, make sure to keep a copy for your records.
  6. Contact an attorney: Finally, you should reach out to an experienced attorney. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and determine the best way to proceed.

You have a limited amount of time to take legal action against a police officer or department. In New York, the statute of limitations for police brutality is generally three years from the date of the incident. If you do not file your lawsuit before the deadline, you will be barred from doing so in the future.

How to Prove a Police Brutality Case

To succeed in a lawsuit stemming from police brutality in New York, plaintiffs typically need to prove several key elements. In general, the following elements are typically crucial to establishing a successful case of police brutality in New York:

  1. Use of Excessive Force: Plaintiffs must demonstrate that the police used excessive force against them. This could include physical violence, such as beating, kicking, or using weapons like batons or tasers, beyond what is reasonably necessary to control the situation.
  2. Violation of Constitutional Rights: Plaintiffs must show that their constitutional rights, particularly those protected by the Fourth Amendment (protection against unreasonable searches and seizures) and the Fourteenth Amendment (protection of due process and equal protection under the law), were violated. This often involves proving that the police acted unreasonably or unlawfully in their use of force.
  3. Injury or Damages: Plaintiffs need to provide evidence of the injuries or damages they suffered as a result of the police brutality. This could include physical injuries, medical bills, emotional distress, loss of income, or damage to property.
  4. Causation: Plaintiffs must establish a direct causal link between the actions of the police and the injuries or damages they suffered. This involves demonstrating that the use of excessive force by the police directly led to the harm experienced by the plaintiff.
  5. Official Capacity: Plaintiffs may need to demonstrate that the officers involved were acting within the scope of their official duties as law enforcement officers at the time of the incident. This helps establish the liability of the police department or municipality for the actions of its officers.

In some cases, police officers may claim qualified immunity, which shields them from personal liability for civil damages if their actions did not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known. Plaintiffs may need to overcome this defense by showing that the officers' conduct was so egregious or unlawful that qualified immunity should not apply.

Plaintiffs should gather witness testimony, video recordings, medical records, police reports, and any other relevant evidence to support their claims and refute any defenses raised by the defendants. They may also rely on legal precedents, case law, and legal arguments to support their claims of police brutality and establish liability.

Do You Need a Lawyer for a Police Brutality Case?

If you are a victim of police brutality, you may be wondering if you need an attorney to handle your case. The answer is yes, you do.

At Horn Wright, LLP, we understand the complexities and challenges of navigating the legal system, especially when confronting powerful entities like law enforcement agencies. Our experienced team of attorneys is dedicated to providing you with compassionate and skilled representation every step of the way.

From gathering crucial evidence to building a strong case on your behalf, we are committed to advocating for your rights and holding accountable those responsible for police misconduct. With our expertise and unwavering support, you can trust us to fight tirelessly for the justice and compensation you rightfully deserve.

At Horn Wright, LLP, we offer free initial consultations. Contact us today at (518) 520-4667 to get started on your case.

What Sets Us Apart From The Rest?

Horn Wright, LLP is here to help you get the results you need with a team you can trust.

  • Client-Focused Approach
    We’re a client-centered, results-oriented firm. When you work with us, you can have confidence we’ll put your best interests at the forefront of your case – it’s that simple.
  • Creative & Innovative Solutions

    No two cases are the same, and neither are their solutions. Our attorneys provide creative points of view to yield exemplary results.

  • Experienced Attorneys

    We have a team of trusted and respected attorneys to ensure your case is matched with the best attorney possible.

  • Driven By Justice

    The core of our legal practice is our commitment to obtaining justice for those who have been wronged and need a powerful voice.