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Police brutality: You can fight back in court

Numerous instances of police brutality happen in New York and throughout the United States every day. Unfortunately, most of these incidents never get reported -- or if the victim does try to complain -- he or she may have a difficult time proving that the police brutality and mistreatment occurred.

However, in cases where a defendant suffered clear injuries as a result of unnecessary mistreatment by police, and when there were witnesses or various forms of evidence that can prove the brutality occurred, defendants may have strong financial claims that they can pursue in court.

Essentially, every police brutality case relates to the question of whether the amount of force police used to carry out their job duties was excessive, or whether it was in alignment with what was required given the circumstances.

For example, if a person resists police with violence during an arrest -- and if the person tries to attack the police -- then officers are within their right to use force that matches that of the person in order to neutralize him or her. That said, even if a defendant was violent toward officers, police cannot use more force than the minimum required to achieve their objective, and protect themselves and others from getting hurt.

Imagine, for example, that someone speaks rudely to an officer and tries to break free from the officer and run away. Depending on the circumstances, if the accused person does not appear to be a threat to the lives and safety of others, a police officer cannot use lethal force to subdue the person. Also, once the person is subdued, an officer cannot inflict harm beyond injuries that may happen through the officer's use of the minimum amount of force required.

There is a fine line between what police can and shouldn't do when carrying out their job duties. If you suspect that you were hurt because of police brutality, make sure you investigate your legal rights and options.

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