It is one of your civil rights as a U.S. citizen to be reasonably free from unlawful discrimination, harassment or brutality from law enforcement. Unfortunately, not all police officers in Chicago will respect your civil rights.
Every day, unsuspecting citizens become victims of police misconduct and brutality. If you are one of them, you may have grounds for a civil rights claim. Filing a lawsuit could result in true justice and payment for your damages.
Examples of police misconduct
Police misconduct can refer to any action that infringes upon a person’s civil rights. Police misconduct can lead to lack of trust in the government among communities in Chicago. It may also lead to physical, emotional and financial damages to victims. Examples of police misconduct include:
- Racial profiling
- Conducting illegal searches and seizures
- Using excessive force
- Lying to investigators
- Planting evidence or entrapping a person
Getting help as the victim of suspected police misconduct could require filing an official complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice. Filing a complaint with the DOJ regarding civil rights violations could lead to penalties against the offender as well as compensation for your losses.
Definition of police brutality
Police brutality is another word for excessive use of force. Federal laws permit police officers to use a reasonable degree of force during arrests. If an officer uses a level of force that falls outside what a reasonable and prudent officer would have done in such circumstances, that officer could be guilty of brutality. Unnecessary use of force can include the improper use of deadly force during an arrest.
Civil claims for police misconduct or brutality
In Illinois, citizens have the right to file tort, or civil wrong, claims against the government for police misconduct or brutality. A civil claim aims to reimburse you, the victim, for losses you suffered because of an officer’s negligence or intent to harm. You could receive financial compensation for your pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages and other damages through a successful civil rights lawsuit.