What Is Police Misconduct?

Police misconduct happens if a law enforcement officer violates a person’s constitutional rights. Police misconduct by a member of law enforcement may subject an officer and police department to both criminal and civil liability.

Civil police misconduct involves a law enforcement officer engaging in a “pattern of conduct” that denies an individual of his or her constitutional rights.  In order to prove civil police misconduct, a person must demonstrate that a pattern occurred and it was not one isolated occurrence. In addition, a law enforcement officer is prohibited from engaging in discriminatory practices.  Here, a pattern of discriminatory misconduct must be president.  Examples of discriminatory misconduct include:

  • Harassment
  • Discriminatory stop
  • Racially motivated comments
  • Unjustified arrest
  • Sexual conduct or harassment

Criminal police misconduct involves an officer denying an individual of their constitutional rights. Here, it is not required that a law enforcement officer’s conduct be discriminatory.  Examples of criminal misconduct include:

  • Use of excessive force
  • Sexual assault
  • Intentional false arrest
  • Fabricating evidence

If a member of law enforcement has violated your rights, it is important to file a complaint with internal affairs and the police department in order to exhaust your administrative remedies prior to filing a lawsuit.

If you have been a victim of police misconduct or have had your rights violated, to contact an experienced police misconduct lawyer to explore your options. The Leventhal Law Group is experienced in dealing with all aspects of police misconduct and is dedicated to helping clients achieve the best possible outcome for their case. The Leventhal Law Group will make sure you understand the complex process and treat you with dignity and respect each step of the way. Contact the Police Misconduct Attorneys at the Leventhal Law Group at (718) 556-9600, or fill out our online contact form.

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