Policing the police: When the actions of law enforcement go too far

When a person is confronted by a law enforcement officer, it is not uncommon for that individual to feel intimidated. These officers have a lot of power, which can sometimes cause a situation to escalate. When the officer uses force to retrain a person prior to or after an arrest, it could result in serious injuries.

Often, these interactions will need to be reviewed to determine if the amount of force that the officer used was justifiable or reasonable. In Missouri, if the police exceeded their authority in these situations, the individuals injured by the police may be able to recover compensation due to the violation of their civil rights.

Often the officers will say that an individual resisted the arrest or became violent first. This causes the officer to respond, either with physical force, or with the use of weapons such as tasers or batons. When these events start to get out of control, the individuals subject to the beatings by the officers may try to defend themselves, which can only make matters worse.

Some individuals, however, might not understand the directions that law enforcement is giving them. They may have medical health issues that prevent them from understanding the orders, and this could result in encounters becoming much more serious. The officer may not take enough time to discover these issues, and respond before giving the individual a chance to comply.

The major challenge for individuals suspected of crimes is that it is their word against that of law enforcement. Courts may be reluctant to give their testimony much credibility, so it is extremely important to gather as much information as possible about what happened. This includes collecting the contact information for any witnesses to the events, and also the examination of any videotaped evidence of the encounter.

You may feel like no one is listening to what you have to say, and it can be frustrating to get anyone to believe you. Do not give up. If you have been injured in an encounter with law enforcement personnel, speak to an experienced personal injury attorney to learn whether or not you may have a claim for compensation.

These cases can be extremely complicated, because it might be difficult to present your side of the story, especially if it contradicts the version being told by the officers involved. An attorney who has handled similar cases in the past will understand the challenges that often accompany these types of matters, and help you recover compensation for your injuries.