False arrests present problems for diverse New York neighborhoods. These arrests are often the province of officers pursuing quotas. Recent investigations into the New York Police Department (NYPD) revealed that officers receive acclaim for meeting their goal. And some police commanders may condone suspect practices to do so.
These arrests disproportionately affect black and Latino citizens. Some police commanders order officers to arrest these groups at the expense of others. These officers then receive greater rewards than those who cuff residents of other backgrounds. Not only is this racial discrimination, it runs afoul of the laws officers uphold.
If you’ve experienced a false arrest, keep these two facts in mind when maintaining your innocence.
The arrest violates your 4th Amendment rights
Under the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, citizens are protected against false arrest and imprisonment. If an officer arrests you without giving a reason, they may have violated this law.
But for your case to stand in court, you must prove that:
· The arresting officers used excessive force or authority.
· The arresting officers prohibited you from leaving the scene.
· The officers arrested you without probable cause.
The arrest must have a probable cause
False arrest cases often hinge on the probable clause standard. While law enforcement officers cannot arrest you without reason, they could create cause for doing so. This must derive from evidence and cannot stem from suspicion or prejudice.
For instance, an officer could claim that you resemble a suspect in a crime you did not commit. This might constitute their probable cause defense, even if their statement is dishonest. Yet depending on the grounds of your arrest, this may be a form of discrimination. And it could constitute a civil rights violation.
False arrests are serious offenses exercised by law enforcement. It’s crucial to know your rights if you’re apprehended in this manner. Consulting with an attorney who has civil rights experience could help you make your case in a system that can favor officers over citizens.