Santa Fe civil rights lawyer explains excessive force
The United States Constitution prohibits a police officer from using excessive force. If you were injured in an encounter with a police officer, an experienced Santa Fe police brutality lawyer can help you determine if the officer's actions crossed the line between reasonable and excessive. This will determine whether you may have a civil rights claim.
Examples of excessive force
Police excessive force cases boil down to one key question: Did the officer use unreasonable force against a citizen, in light of the circumstances surrounding the stop or arrest? Excessive force may take many forms, including, for example:
- Unreasonable use of a weapon;
- Unreasonable use of a baton, taser, or pepper spray;
- Unreasonable use of a police dog.
Evidence of excessive force
To establish a case of police excessive force, your Santa Fe civil rights lawyer will look for evidence in the form of:
- Witness statements;
- Video from a surveillance camera, or cell phone or other amateur video;
- Injuries that seem to be excessive given the facts of the situation or which are inconsistent with the facts;
- Injuries incurred after the victim was restrained;
- The officers history of citizen complaints or disciplinary actions.
The officer may claim that his actions were reasonable because you resisted arrest or tried to flee, or that he was acting in self-defense or in defense of others. Despite these claims, we have proven police officers have deadly and illegal force. Our most recent case includes the wrongful death of thirty-four year old Megan Causey who was shot by a deputy from the Dona Ana County Sheriffs Department. Although Deputy Carlos Montoya claimed he acted in self-defense, we proved otherwise and the family received a substantial financial award to care for his young son. The case was reported in published opinion from the United States Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals as Zia Trust v. Causey, 597 F.3d 1150 (10th Cir. 2010).
Contact Santa Fe civil rights lawyer, Richard Rick Sandoval
In addition to physical injuries, a victim of police excessive force may suffer mental and emotional injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. If you were injured at the hands of a police officer, I will fight to get you the maximum compensation you deserve. You do not have to suffer in silence. If you would like to meet with me to discuss the facts of your case and your legal options, call me, at 505.795.7790 or 1-866-BEST LAWYER (1-866-237-8529), to schedule a free consultation.