We trust police and law enforcement to protect us, our families, and our communities, but when police officers abuse their power, are reckless in carrying out their responsibilities, or willfully disregard the law they are sworn to uphold, the results can be dangerous – even fatal.
The Lamothe Law Firm represents victims of police misconduct, helping individuals and families obtain compensation for physical injuries, emotional harm, wrongful death, medical expenses, lost income, and other damages. Not every attorney can handle the complexities, bureaucracy, and public exposure involved in bringing a police misconduct and abuse lawsuit. That’s why clients in New Orleans and throughout Louisiana have looked to us to pursue their claims in and out of the courtroom.
State & Federal Law Prohibit Police Civil Rights Violations
The U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and state and federal statutes shield each of us with protection against unlawful government actions. For example, the Fourth Amendment guarantees us protection against police brutality and harassment, as well as unlawful arrest, false imprisonment, wrongful conviction, and illegal searches and seizures. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Louisiana Constitution, and the Louisiana Code offer similar protections.
Police Brutality & Police Shootings
When justified, law enforcement officers are permitted to use reasonable force to apprehend a perpetrator or bring a criminal act to an end. All too often, however, the use of force is neither reasonable nor justified, killing or permanently injuring the suspect or an innocent bystander, and made worse when police departments attempt to cover up the wrongdoing or falsely accuse the victim of somehow provoking the fatal shooting.
Excessive force is just that – excessive. When a police officer’s attempts to apprehend a suspect go beyond what the situation reasonably demands, the risk of unnecessary harm and injury increases. Guns, nightsticks, tasers, choke holds, punching, beating, and kicking may not be warranted in light of the surrounding facts and circumstances, regardless of the officer’s intentions.
A police officer’s obligation under the law also extends to preventing another officer from using unreasonable force or failing to intervene when a fellow officer violates a suspect’s civil rights.
Unlawful Arrests & False Imprisonment
The police must follow proper procedure when detaining, arresting, and incarcerating criminal suspects. Although planting or falsifying evidence at the scene are the most egregious examples of how law enforcement can justify arresting someone, the deliberate failure to abide by legally-required protocols and procedures can also support an unlawful arrest claim.
A person doesn’t have to be placed in jail or a correctional facility to be falsely imprisoned. If a person is unlawfully detained in a police cruiser, locked in a room or closet, or is otherwise restricted from movement, he or she may also have a valid claim of false imprisonment.
Jail Inmate Abuse
Even if a person has been properly arrested and jailed, the police have a duty to ensure the physical wellbeing of the suspect while incarcerated or held for questioning. Suspects not only have the right to be protected against physical abuse by police and jail personnel, but preventative measures must also be taken to avoid inmate-on-inmate violence, rape, and sexual assault, as well as the suspect’s suicide attempts.
Police Chase Injuries & Accidents
The police’s overzealousness in pursuing a criminal suspect can also threaten innocent bystanders. According to recent statistics:
- Roughly 43 percent of Louisiana State Police pursuits in New Orleans ended in vehicle crashes.
- Of those crashes, there were two deaths and multiple injuries.
- Eleven percent of the pursuits ended in crashes with vehicles occupied by innocent third parties not involved with the chase.
Additionally, an errant or misfired bullet, a raid on a mistaken address, or other forms of negligence or misconduct can result in serious injury for which officers must be held accountable.
Police Misconduct Attorneys Who Fight for You
The police are a constant presence in our lives, mostly for our well-being, but not always. When local and state police or FBI, ATF, or other federal law enforcement personnel go beyond the scope of what is acceptable in performing their duties, however, the unfortunate victims need a champion to recover damages for the injuries they suffer as a result.
If you or a loved one has been harmed at the hands of a police officer or law enforcement official, please contact the Lamothe Law Firm today for a free consultation.