If you experienced excessive force by a police officer while being under arrest in Tennessee, you may be the victim of police brutality. While many law enforcement officers treat their jobs with respect, and they follow the guidelines outlined by local, state and federal laws, some overstep the boundaries and treat the suspect wrong. If this occurs, a good attorney may be able to use it to your benefit in your case.
USA Today reports police brutality occurs more often to minorities, although it can happen to any suspect. While the law gives police officers some leeway in using a certain amount of force when arresting someone who is resisting, unjustified force is brutality. Although physical force is the most common and known type of brutality, it does not have to be physical. In fact, intimidation, as well as verbal and emotional assault, can be just as harmful to the suspect.
If you think you are the victim of police brutality, you can file a complaint with the Department of Justice. The DOJ discusses the different types of cases and what you should include in a complaint. The DOJ considers whether the complaint is a civil or criminal one, and the burden of proof is higher in a criminal case.
It is always a smart idea to use a private lawyer, especially if you are a suspect in a case. Your attorney can help you draft the complaint, which should include the following information:
- Your contact information
- The name of the accused law enforcement individual or agency
- The details of the alleged misconduct
- Names and contact information of any witnesses
- Evidence of potential discrimination