New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

What are common examples of police misconduct?

On Behalf of | Wednesday Nov 11, 2020 | Civil Rights

As a resident of New York, you have rights that protect you from the misconduct of police officers. But police misconduct covers a wide variety of potential behaviors, actions and situations. 

Thus, it is important for you to understand what police misconduct is. This way, if you come across it, you know that you can fight back. 

What is police misconduct?

The United States Department of Justice defines police misconduct. Situations involving police misconduct also involve allegations of Constitutional violations. In other words, you are claiming an officer broke a law or violated the Constitution in their pursuit of apparent justice. 

There are several common situations that count as police misconduct. First is failure to intervene. This happens when an officer witnesses a fellow officer violate the Constitution and does nothing to stop it. 

Excessive force and false arrests

A very typical example is use of excessive force. In short, an officer uses more force than they needed to carry out an operation, arrest or so on. An officer’s intentions do not play into excessive force; only the force actually used counts. Cases of excessive force often gain notable media attention because it often results in severe injury or even death. 

Then you have false arrest. This occurs when an officer arrests you in violation of your Fourth Amendment right. This right protects you against unreasonable seizure. You must prove that the arresting officer made his arrest without reasonable evidence to back up the suspicions they had. 

Malicious prosecution

Finally, there is malicious prosecution. This happens if an officer deprives you of your Fourteenth Amendment right. This is your right to liberty. You must show the officer commenced with a criminal proceeding ending with no conviction. It cannot have a probable cause. You must also believe the proceeding happened with malice.