In early January, disturbing video footage surfaced on Facebook that showed a female Philadelphia police officer throwing a 16-year-old girl to the ground and repeatedly punching her. The assault occurred while police officers were responding to reports of a fight involving approximately 30 people in the city's Kingsessing neighborhood.
Cellphone footage of the assault was captured by eyewitnesses who were at the scene. In the video, the officer appears to be pushing the 16 year old backwards, away from the scene of the fight. The two are seen engaged in a heated verbal exchange which escalates and ends with the officer grabbing and slamming the girl to the pavement, getting on top of her and repeatedly punching the girl in the face and upper extremities.
The Challenges Of Proving Police Brutality
Unfortunately, for many Philadelphia residents, incidences like the one detailed above that involve acts of police brutality and misconduct are all too common. Even more disturbing, these types of egregious violations of citizens' civil rights often go unpunished. It's important to know, however, that police officers are not above the law and that an individual citizen who believes that his or her constitutional and civil rights have been violated can take legal action against the police to recover damages.
Taking Legal Action To Prove Police Brutality
If you are the victim of police misconduct and wish to file a claim, your attorney will work to prove that a police officer's actions:
- Fell outside of normal boundaries
- Violated your constitutional rights
- Resulted in you suffering harm and injury
Evidence will play a pivotal role in the outcome of your case and it's important to take steps to secure and protect any and all evidence that helps prove your claims. Key evidence may include:
- Video footage
- Photographs of injuries
- Medical records
- Eyewitness accounts
- Detailed firsthand account
If you were beaten, tased or shot by a police officer, an attorney who handles police misconduct and brutality cases can answer your questions and fight to recover damages for the injuries, injustices and harm you suffered.