We depend on our law enforcement officers to truly serve and protect our communities, even in communities that often feel at odds with the police. When an officer breaches his or her duties and violates the rights of a suspect, or submits a suspect to brutality, it is important to stand up against these acts. When we hold law enforcement officers accountable for upholding the law without breaking it, we help protect the rights of many others who might experience unfair treatment.
If you or someone else you know suffered brutality or other violations at the hands of law enforcement, you may have concerns about fighting back, especially if you are an immigrant. It is no secret that social and political tensions surrounding immigration are very high at the moment, and many immigrants fear that they may face retaliation or deportation if they choose to stand up to officers who abuse their authority.
An experienced attorney can help you look at your experience through the eyes of the law and identify legal actions you can take to fight back against abuses of power. Professional counsel helps you understand how to protect your rights while you stand up for justice.
Did an officer violate your rights?
Upholding individual rights is a founding principle of our country, and every officer of the law carries an obligation to uphold these rights. Unfortunately, law enforcement personnel often overstep these boundaries and then claim immunity against allegations of abuse or brutality. In some cases, an officer may be legally immune to litigation — but not always.
Commonly, an officer might violate a person's First or Fourth Amendment rights. These are only the most common violations, but it is important to understand the rights that a person may fight to protect.
The First Amendment generally protects our rights to free speech, religious practice, free press, and peaceable assembly. If an officer violates the rights of a Muslim person based on his or her religion, this may qualify as a First Amendment violation.
The Fourth Amendment generally protects against "unreasonable search and seizure." Practically speaking, this may mean that police search a home or vehicle without proper cause and without obtaining a warrant or permission from the owner. Commonly, officers may pull drivers over and then illegally search their vehicles. In this instance, the violation of those drivers' rights may invalidate any charges that result from the search.
Build a strong case
Understandably, bringing a lawsuit against an officer of the law is not an easy task. Before you choose to take legal action, it is crucial to understand the nuances of the laws that apply in your circumstances.
Be sure to use every tool you have available to build your case and protect your rights while you fight for justice. Your actions may ultimately save many others from unfair treatment from those who abuse the very laws they swore to uphold.