New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

Civil Rights

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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Are you eligible to file a prison abuse claim?

As an inmate or loved one of an incarcerated person, you expect to serve your sentence free of negligence and abuse. You still have your constitutional rights, even while imprisoned. Some of these rights are medical care, living in humane conditions, being free from racial discrimination, expressing complaints about your living conditions and having access to mental health care. If someone at the prison violated or denied any of your constitutional rights or if you suffered any personal injury while incarcerated, you might have legal recourse. Common examples of prison injury and abuse Jail...

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When are warrants required for a police search?

The fourth amendment protects citizens from unlawful search and seizure. This means that government officials and police cannot search your belongings without certain conditions. It is essential to understand how this amendment protects your rights, and what exclusions exist. When are search warrants needed? According to FindLaw, police officers must have a warrant to search your private property in most cases. There are exclusions to this rule, however, such as the following: You consent to the search Criminal evidence is within plain view An emergency requires an immediate search without a...

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What does the law consider excessive force while incarcerated?

A person serving a prison sentence has the right to do so in humane conditions and free from abuse. However, in New York prisons, this is not always the case. Instances of physical force throughout the prison system seem to rise over the years. Excessive force is a term many are familiar with when it comes to police misconduct. It also refers to the unnecessary physical force exerted upon anyone held in a prison or jail. Discover some examples of excessive force and what may result if not stopped. What makes the force appropriate? Controlling the movements and behavior of prisoners and...

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Police officer conduct, civil rights claims and Section 1983

While it is true that law enforcement officers have significant latitude to discharge their duties, they sometimes overstep their authority. Victims of potential law enforcement misconduct may rely on Section 1983, a statute that addresses the protection of their civil rights under the Constitution. About Section 1983 The history of Section 1983 begins in the 19th century. Originally, the statute was part of the Civil Rights Act of 1871, which sought to eliminate oppressive conduct by the Ku Klux Klan and other vigilante groups. It is now included within Title 42 of the United States Code....

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What rights do I have when stopped by the police?

The role of the police is to protect and serve citizens. While many officers take their role seriously, many others do not. Too often law enforcement oversteps their boundaries, which leads to civil rights violations, injuries and loss of life.  As explained by the ACLU, law enforcement must respect your rights in all situations.  When police arrive at your home The police must show a signed warrant with your exact name and address listed before entering your home. It is permissible to ask to see the warrant, as well as officer identification. While you must allow entry when given a signed...

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