New Case of Police Brutality – Walter Scott Shooting
It seems these days like a recurring bad dream. The names change, the locations change, but the circumstances and the results are numbingly similar. A citizen is stopped by a police officer for some type of infraction, the encounter somehow escalates, and the citizen becomes another statistic—victimized by an act of police brutality by a rogue law officer.
Police misconduct can range from a relatively minor physical injury to a full scale beating to the tragic outcome of this case, all coming at the hands of those entrusted to protect us from harm. It needs to be stressed that these cases are stand-alone aberrations by reckless officers that undermine the ethical police work by the vast majority of police officers who respect the badge and their duty to serve. It’s the exceptions that we read about that bring the wrong kind of attention to good officers.
The New York police brutality lawyers at The Sanders Firm point to the recent case of Walter Scott, 50, an unarmed black man captured on video being gunned down and killed by a South Carolina police officer. The shocking video shows Officer Michael Slager, an eight year veteran, firing eight shots into Mr. Scott’s back as he attempted to flee from the officer. Despite Officer Slager’s claims that his life was being threatened by Mr. Scott, the video shows an unarmed man running for his life as the officer fires the fatal shots.
Study says fear of retribution silences possible cases of police brutality
The gentleman who shot the video stated that he almost erased it from his phone rather than bring it forward, supporting study findings that suggest that most cases of police brutality go unreported. It’s not only victims that fear they will not be believed or will suffer retribution. The video taker in the Scott case says he was afraid for his life if he brought forward what has turned out to be the key piece of evidence against Officer Slager, but in the end he felt it had to be seen.
Police brutality can be defined as any illegal act by a police officer that crosses the line between reasonable force and excessive force, before, during or after an arrest. Typical cases of police brutality would be the use of excessive force as we are seeing in the Scott case, the abuse of power by an officer toward a citizen, any act deemed as police misconduct resulting in injury or death, sexual assault or rape, or the misuse of police weaponry, including stun guns and tasers.
With the prevalence of phone cameras, video recorders, and social media, police brutality lawyers have new tools to bring forth evidence where cases in the past would have been thrown out for lack of evidence. At The Sanders Firm, our attorneys can now reach out to the public, the majority of whom are carrying mobile phones, for evidentiary help now that scrutiny of police efforts is running high.
Federal Civil Rights Title 42 protects your rights
Any citizen can file a police brutality lawsuit against a police department, a jurisdiction, or a specific officer for police misconduct. Section 1983 mandates that: “Any person who…subjects or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person …..to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress.”
Victims of police brutality are not only wounded physically, but they often suffer deep psychic damage such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The Sanders Firm offers more than 40 years of expertise in helping victims secure significant compensation from the city through filing a police brutality and/or wrongful death lawsuit in New York. In fact, over the last 10 years, nearly $1 billion has been paid to settle claims against the NYPD, mostly relating to police brutality and excessive force.
NY police brutality lawyers can protect your rights
If you or a loved one has suffered at the hands of a police officer in any of New York’s boroughs, including Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island or Long Island, we offer free case evaluations to help you determine the best course for legal action.
You may be eligible for substantial monetary damages through litigation. Call our offices any time, night or day at 1.800 FAIR PLAY (800.324.7752).
- Washington Post, US Cities Pay Out Millions to Settle Police Lawsuits http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/10/01/u-s-cities-pay-out-millions-to-settle-police-lawsuits/
- The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore to create online database of police brutality lawsuits http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-settlements-database-20141113-story.html#page=1