If you suffered physical assault during an arrest or while in police custody, you may be the victim of a civil rights violation.
The Department of Justice states it is a crime to deprive any person of his or her rights. When under arrest, officers cannot use excessive force to detain you.
What is excessive force?
Excessive force may include physical assault. If under arrest, the officer does not have the right to assault you and cause your unnecessary harm or discomfort. The excessive force consists of any force beyond reasonably necessary to gain control of the situation. The court judges reasonable by what most officers would do under the same instance.
When it comes to convicted prisoners, the officer cannot use physical force to punish an inmate or retaliate against an inmate. The officer can only use force to protect other officers or inmates from harm within the facility. When there is no physical danger, physical force may be excessive force.
How can you prove a violation?
To prove a violation, you have to prove the defendant acted willfully. If the officer used a dangerous weapon or suffered a serious injury, the charges become a felony. Officers should know the law regarding excessive force. If the officer knew his or her actions could cause harm and willfully tried to harm you or use excessive force, the court may determine he or she committed a crime.
The Department of Justice must vigorously investigate alleged excessive force. Those who can commit excessive force may include police officers, correctional officers, prosecutors, law enforcement officials and probation officers.