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Civil Rights

Police officers are entrusted with protecting the public but unfortunately, sometimes we need protection from them.

A report released last year by state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra indicates that 157 people died during encounters with police in the state in 2016. The report said there were 782 incidents in 2016 in which a police officer either used force that resulted in serious injury or death, or fired their weapon.

When arresting or detaining someone, a police officer does not have authority to use force unless it is necessary.  Moreover, the amount of force used must be reasonable for the situation.

The facts of each situation are unique and instances of police brutality must be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. Some of the factors that are considered are:

  • Did the individual posed an immediate threat to the safety of the officer or others at the time the force was used?
  • Was the individual actively resisting or evading arrest at the time the force was used?
  • Did the use of force result in physical injury?

What is reasonable varies from case to case, and must be determined by looking at the specific facts of each incident. Examples of excessive force may include:

  • chokeholds
  • beatings
  • kickings
  • unreasonable weapon use (including guns, Tasers, batons, and pepper spray)
  • sexual assaults

If you have been the victim of excessive use of force by law enforcement and have suffered injuries including:  asphyxia, facial injuries, a concussion, skull fracture, broken bones, or damaged internal organs, the Law Offices of John E. Hill may be able to help you obtain compensation for the harm you have suffered.

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