New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

Civil Rights

What are the rights of inmates in New York?

There are thousands of inmates in New York prisons and jails. Although these individuals are incarcerated, they still have certain civil rights. It's important to know how inmates are protected and to know about New York's bail reform. What are inmates' basic rights? There are certain prisoners' rights in place in New York and throughout the United States. Those basic rights include the following: Inmates must be placed in humane facilities instead of in those that are not fit for humans. Conditions must be reasonable and not cruel or unusual. Inmates have the right to not be sexually...

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Qualified immunity and your civil rights

As a New York resident, you may benefit from learning more about the problems with qualified immunity, police misconduct, and protecting your civil rights. Recent studies show that the concept of qualified immunity is outdated and that police need to be incentivized to adopt practices that reduce excessive uses of force. Federal criminal and civil statutes protect all citizens from police misconduct committed by the state, county, and local officers, including jail and prison authorities. Understanding qualified immunity Qualified immunity is a defense that exists to eliminate the fear of...

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What can you do if you witness police brutality?

If you are like many people, you want justice when you see police brutality. You may think that there is little that you can do, but really witnesses can make all of the difference. According to the Huffington Post, without witnesses, police brutality goes unchecked in the United States. If you witness police brutality, you can film it. The following are some tips on what you can do. Remain at a safe distance Do not let anyone tell you that you cannot film the encounter. If you see an officer abusing his or her power, you have every right to use your phone to film it. Be careful, however....

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Why are some people fighting to withhold misconduct files?

Accountability and transparency are important to preventing corruption in law enforcement. Until recently in New York, as well as in many other states, misconduct records in personnel files were not available to the public. However, state lawmakers repealed the law that kept the files private in 2020. On the surface, this appears to be a win for civil rights and justice. It appears that legislators' intentions and the execution of their legislation may not go hand in hand, though. Creating roadblocks to access According to ABC News, repealing section 50-a of New York's civil rights law did...

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What are the rules about officers drawing their firearms?

It seems there is a new story every week about law enforcement having run-ins with individuals and drawing their guns. These stories often result in a shooting death. Some recent cases have brought about outrage due to the senseless nature of the situation. It also has led to people wondering what the rules are about officers drawing their guns and using them as deadly force. You may wonder about the specific rules for officers in New York. No rules According to the New York Times, there are no rules regarding when an officer can draw his or her gun on a suspect. The general rule of thumb is...

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Police misconduct during the George Floyd protests

The protests against police brutality in New York City generated their own conflict and controversy. This centered on allegations by various parties against the NYPD for mishandling security for the demonstrations. The investigations into police misconduct face a unique set of challenges. Sources close to the issue say this is due to a combination of remote working, non-cooperation and identification challenges. A challenging situation Even in the best situation, pursuing and substantiating a case of police brutality might face resistance from within the NYPD. In the case of the George Floyd...

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Why does excessive force continue to be an issue?

After a recent news story about police fighting with a suspect in the subway, the topic of police brutality is at the forefront again. In this instance, according to the New York Post, a man was smoking in the subway when officers approached him, and he reacted in a way that led to aggressive actions on behalf of officers. According to law enforcement in this situation, the excessive force used was necessary. They say it was a response to aggressive actions by the suspect, which included spitting and hitting. However, there is video proof of the altercation that shows none of those actions...

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What rights do prisoners have?

Incarceration is a unique situation that limits some of your civil rights. However, there are various laws that could still give you some protection. Some of these laws go to the very highest level of our government. Here are a few examples. The Eighth Amendment As explained by the Cornell Legal Information Institute, the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution is one of the most important laws that protect your rights as a prisoner. It is one sentence long and, in the plainest of terms, it prevents cruel and unusual punishment. By extension, it also gives you the right to a basic...

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New York prisoners face deplorable conditions, health concerns

A New York prison stint is never supposed to be a picnic. However, there is an important distinction between you having to live in unfavorable conditions and you having to live in downright dangerous ones. A growing number of prisoner reports suggest that prisoners across the state are living in environments where they often lack access to even basic necessities, including heat and hot water. According to the Intercept, while a lack of hot water and heat are among the serious issues that may impact prisoners' health, many New York jails and prisons also lack other essential supplies. Some of...

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Which laws address police misconduct?

While many police officers are committed to the health and safety of citizens they serve, some have little regard for the laws they promised to uphold. As a result, ordinary citizens can be wrongfully imprisoned, injured, or even lose their lives as a result of police misconduct. While recent events have shown that police reform is sorely needed throughout the U.S., there are laws currently on record that can hold police officers accountable for misconduct. The Department of Justice (DOJ) explains these laws and the crimes they cover, so you can seek help should your rights be violated....

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