Law enforcement officers sometimes misuse or abuse their authority. In many cases, the victims feel powerless and believe that there is no way of obtaining justice. Victims of police misconduct may feel abandoned by the system that is supposed to protect them.
The Law Office of Mark A. Siesel, with offices in White Plains, The Bronx, and a satellite office in Peekskill, New York has represented many clients throughout Westchester County, the lower Hudson Valley, and the five boroughs of New York State who have been the victims of police misconduct. Police misconduct is a violation of the rights guaranteed to you by both the New York State and United States Constitution. There are specific state and federal statutes and laws which govern exactly what police officers and other law enforcement officials are permitted to do within the scope of their employment. Having a badge is no license to abuse and mistreat anyone. No person should have to tolerate improper conduct by a police officer.
The use of force is very strictly regulated under the New York State Penal Law and other state and federal regulations. The use of force during the course of an arrest is regulated, as is the amount of force needed if force is to be utilized. If the police abuse this power, and litigation is brought in this regard, police officials and their counsel often assert certain defenses such as “qualified immunity.” Qualified immunity only applies in specific situations in which an officer must make a split second decision when there is a risk of harm to the officer, the person being arrested, or other members of the public. If qualified immunity does apply, and the client is injured, then the officer can avoid liability for his actions, under the theory that he did not have the time to make a considered decision as to his actions. However, in our experience in litigating “excessive force” cases, often the defense is not applicable, as there was no appreciable risk of harm to person being apprehended, the officer, or bystanders.
Our firm has successfully represented clients in numerous claims against municipalities, law enforcement officers, and police agencies that have violated the rights of individuals. In litigating these cases, we have been able to obtain, through the discovery process, invaluable evidence to support the clients’ cases, such as “Dashcam” videos which substantiate the clients’ claims of overzealous and abusive police officers. Further, with the proliferation of smart phones, there is often video of an arrest and its aftermath from witnesses which can be tremendously helpful in proving cases against the police for false arrest, false imprisonment, wrongful detention and violation of civil liberties by police officers.
In addition to the physical injuries suffered by the clients, police misconduct, false arrest, false imprisonment, and excessive force cases often involve psychological injuries as well, due to the embarrassment, humiliation, mental and emotional distress, and it is essential that you retain counsel who have the experience, background and dedication to obtain compensation for psychological injuries which are often more devastating and long term than the physical injuries suffered by the client.
If you, a friend, or family member, have been the victim of misconduct by law enforcement officers, contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case in detail.