In recent years, there have been numerous news stories exposing the excessive use of force by police officers in cities across the country. In many of these incidences, outrage over acts of police misconduct grew after eye witnesses captured and shared videos of the events via social media.
In cases where acts of excessive police violence against individual citizens occur but are not captured on video, victims often have a hard time proving their claims. If you or a relative has been the victim of police brutality, an attorney who handles civil rights matters can help.
By thoroughly investigating and examining a victim's statement, eye witness accounts, medical records, police reports and the personal accounts of the officers involved, an attorney will discover inconsistencies and uncover truths that can help bring about a favorable result in your case.
A Victory Against Police Brutality
Recently, the southwest Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn decided to settle a police brutality case in which three of the city's police officers were accused of severely beating a man in his home. According to court documents detailing the plaintiff's account of events, the man was sleeping on his couch around midnight when the officers, who were investigating a hit-and-run accident in which a vehicle that was registered to the man was involved, banged on his door.
The man, a general contractor who owns several vehicles, opened his door for the police officers, but denied their requests to step outside. Despite the man's assertions that he wasn't involved in the accident, the police officers forced their way into his home and began viciously beating him with their metal batons.
After beating the man, the officers placed him under arrest and charged him with resisting arrest and aggravated battery--charges that were later dismissed.
The man's two minor-aged daughters saw and heard their father being beat and were able to corroborate their dad's account of what happened. Additionally, while the police officers admitted to using defensive tactics when placing the man under arrest, the severity of the man's injuries indicate that violent and excessive force was used.
Forced to undergo spinal surgery for his debilitating injuries and pain, the man decided to fight back and filed a lawsuit against the police officers and the city for using excessive force, false arrest, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment.
Rather than pursue a trial case, the city of Oak Lawn decided to settle the case for $2.7 million.