Can I Sue the Police for Violating My Rights?

By Vincent Hughes posted 11 Mar, 2020 13:38


When you’re pulled over by a police officer, it is in your best interest to follow orders. Evading arrest is a punishable crime and has serious consequences. However, that does not mean you have no recourse if your civil rights are violated. 

Many law enforcement officers perform their difficult jobs with respect for communities and comply with the law but there are some incidents in which this isn’t the case. 

The use of excessive force

If an officer exercises undue or excessive force in the process of arresting you, such as physically or verbally harassing you, damaging your property or causing you physical or mental injury, it’s best to contact police brutality lawyers who can help you to understand your legal options. 

The Ryan Twyman case

In 2019, Ryan Twyman, a 24-year-old father of three, died when shot at by two Los Angeles sheriff deputies while sitting in a parked car. Did these police deputies act reasonably or unfairly? 

Ryan Twyman was a convicted felon on probation and was wanted for illegal possession of guns. He was sitting in his parked car when the deputies approached him and as he reversed with the back car door open, they fired 34 rounds. 

There was a video of the whole incident which happened in about 50 seconds. No weapons were found on him or inside the car. A claim was filed by the family for civil rights violations.

Police brutality is hotly debated today and according to Black Lives Matter, Twyman is one of over 500 people who have been killed by officers on duty in L.A. county or who died in custody since 2013. 

Seek out an experienced lawyer

Suing the police is a way to hold the police responsible but going to court can be expensive and time-consuming. It’s best to speak to a lawyer with experience if you’re thinking about suing the police. enables you to find a local lawyer to defend you. 

Record the facts

If you are ever in a situation where you are being treated unfairly by a police officer, try to talk to any witnesses of the incident and find out what they saw or heard. A credible witness could really help your case. 

If any witnesses have a video of the incident on the phone, make sure you have a copy. You may even be able to acquire CCTV footage to substantiate your claim and you have a right to do so. The more proof you have, the more likely you are to win your case.

Fight for your rights

If you want your lawsuit against the police to be successful, the police must have done something to you that is against the law. In civil court, you may be able to make a claim for assault and battery, negligent use of force, unlawful searches or seizures of property or wrongful arrest and detention. 

Criminal cases are handled and investigated separately from civil cases. If you are facing criminal charges related to an incident, you are able to fight for your rights as a citizen. Defenses are available to you and you shouldn’t let unfair treatment by an officer result in a mark on your criminal record.

An experienced lawyer is able to support you at a time when you may be feeling particularly vulnerable, help you to collect the necessary evidence, talk to witnesses and represent you in court. Each step of the way, you will have someone by your side with your interests at heart and an intimate knowledge of the steps you need to take to make your case successful.