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What you should know about police and excessive force

Civil rights cases in New York City occur across a wide range of circumstances, including when law enforcement officers use excessive force. 

You should understand your rights if you become involved in a situation in which you are a victim of excessive force. Read on for some basic information about what constitutes excessive force, who is most likely to become a victim of excessive force and how you can assert your rights if you or someone you know is a victim.

Excessive force explained

Excessive force - when an officer uses more force than is reasonably necessary for the situation - can amount to police brutality and a violation of your rights. The Fourth and Eighth Amendments both include language that protects you from excessive force and cruel and unusual punishment.

Excessive force explored

A study by the Center for Policing Equity reveals that police use excessive force more often against African-Americans. Although this has long been a suspicion, it has been difficult to prove because there has not previously been enough data to effectively demonstrate the assumption.

In addition, the study refutes the commonly held explanation by police officers that excessive force is used more often against African-Americans because this group commits more crime. The bottom line is that if you are African-American, you are simply more likely to be the target of excessive force when there is a policing situation in which force comes into play.

Excessive force options 

Police brutality is an unfortunate reality in New York, and it should never go unaddressed. A qualified attorney can listen to the circumstances of your case and help you understand your rights under the law. An attorney can assist you in moving forward with your case and building a strategy to help you find justice and an appropriate settlement, depending on the details of your case.

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Sivin & Miller, LLP Attorneys at Law
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