New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

Police Misconduct

Police misconduct could be more common than believed

Anyone who runs into trouble with the law likely wishes to receive fair treatment from the police. While most New York law enforcement officers follow the rules, some do not. Such instances could be far more than unprofessional behavior, as the officers may outright violate a suspect's rights. Some scenarios involve abuse, manufacturing evidence, and other illegal actions. Worries about police misconduct Isolated incidents of police misconduct are nothing to ignore, as any examples of law enforcement wrongdoing reflect a blight on the state. Continuing instances of police misconduct might...

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Why is it so hard to prove police misconduct?

High-profile cases of police abuse, in New York and across the US, in the last decade have put the spotlight on police conduct. Along with that conversation has come how to hold law enforcement accountable for their wrongful actions. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done for reasons that we will explore here. The issue of police union contracts, which are written to favor the police and make accountability less transparent, is front and center in the discussion. Police, including in big cities like New York where they can generate lots of political power through their organization....

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Dealing with police misconduct: Need to know

In New York, police misconduct is an act of intentional, recklessness or negligence that breaches law enforcement's responsibility to protect and respect the public. Besides physical conduct, police misconduct can entail harassment, humiliation, false confinement and even loss of work and wages. Examples of police misconduct The circumstances entailing inappropriate police conduct include the following. False arrest Police need just cause to detain a person. If probable cause isn't visible, law enforcement has violated your civil rights. Reckless driving If conditions require, law...

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Do officers have confidence in their stun guns?

Recently, a Minnesota police officer made national headlines when she gunned down a man. When explaining the officer's actions, the chief of police claimed she had mistaken her service weapon for a less-lethal stun gun.   Even though there are plenty of stories about officers misusing stun guns, reaching for one may keep an officer from killing a suspect, bystander or someone else. Regrettably, though, officers with the NYPD may be losing confidence in their stun guns.   Stun guns may be less effective According to a recent study, stun guns may be less effective at subduing individuals than...

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Does police misconduct lead to convictions?

Interactions with the police may result in arrest. Regrettably, some defendants find themselves in a New York criminal court due to police misconduct. Although the accused have rights, those rights may end up violated when false evidence and perjury impact the proceedings. Victims of gross police misconduct might take civil actions while also addressing the misconduct in criminal court. Instances of police misconduct While mistaken identity and faulty eyewitness testimony might account for many wrongful convictions, official misconduct factors more than the average person realizes. The...

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What is malicious prosecution?

If you frequently visit or reside in New York, you may benefit from learning more about malicious prosecution, police conduct, and protecting your civil rights. Malicious prosecution occurs when a lawsuit is filed for an improper purpose, without probable cause or grounds. This gratuitous lawsuit may be criminal or civil in nature. Simply being forced through the legal process after a false arrest can qualify as malicious prosecution. Elements of malicious prosecution These cases involve the defendant beginning or continuing a civil or criminal proceeding. The case must be lacking reasonable...

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When must officers record video footage?

In recent years, judges, politicians and ordinary citizens have held police officers accountable for misconduct based on video recordings. While much of this footage comes from passersby, other footage officers record with their own body cameras. If someone you love becomes a victim of police brutality or another form of official misconduct, getting your hands on the officer's body camera footage may be critical. Unfortunately, officers do not have to record all interactions with the public. Privacy concerns One of the official goals of police body cameras in New York is to provide...

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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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Rochester lawsuit seeks to stop community victimization by police

Police misconduct and brutality are grim encounters where the law oversteps its authority, but the problem might go deeper. Efforts to reduce these encounters or reform police culture represent a constant battle between communities and their law enforcement. According to ABC7 NY, a potentially class-wide suit accuses officials and law enforcement of a deliberate indifference towards a culture of police brutality. Protecting property — policing people The plaintiffs of the lawsuit believe a recent reform plan lacks substance and ignores past proposals from the Police Accountability Board....

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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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