Merely riding your bike or driving your car shouldn’t be a nerve-wracking experience. Yet, in New York, law enforcement has made it just that. Have you been the subject of racial profiling or excessive force perpetrated by New York’s law enforcement officials? If so, you’re not alone. The sad reality is that the NYPD and other law enforcement agencies continue to violate the civil rights of everyday citizens, thereby subjecting them to physical and emotional suffering.
Police brutality is the focus on one recently filed lawsuit against a New York police department. There, the parents of two teenagers accuse the Nassau County Police Department of excessive force and wrongful arrest. According to the parents, officers approach the teenagers and accused them of committing assault on a man mere blocks away. The parents claim that the children were pulled from their bikes, thrown onto a car, then slammed onto the ground where they were subjected to further physical and verbal abuse.
The teens, ages 14 and 15, were then taken to the police station where they were questioned for hours without having their parents notified, according to the claim. The lawsuit further alleges that the teens were only reunited with their parents after the parents tracked their children’s cellphones to the police station where they were being held. The Nassau County Police Department, of course, denies the allegations and says that the arrests were lawfully conducted.
This case is a tragic reminder of the power of our local police officer, and the lengths they often go to abuse their power at the expense of innocent individual’s civil rights. If you have been the victim of racial profiling or police brutality, then consider taking these steps to protect your rights:
- Document what happened before the facts get hazy
- Seek out witnesses, including any cellphone footage that they may have been taken
- Consider obtaining assistance with gathering information, including police discipline records and other facts that may support your side of the story
- Do not be afraid
Going up against the police can be scary, especially when they have a history of abusing individuals in your community. You may fear retaliation and how taking action may affect your reputation in the community, but you need to stand up for your rights if you want to find accountability and secure the compensation to which you are entitled.