Police are sworn to protect and serve the public. But it is an unfortunate fact that there are numerous instances in which police officers and law enforcement officials abuse their position and cause serious harm to the citizens they serve. Complaints of police misconduct in New York are surprisingly common. Misconduct by law enforcement personnel can range from verbal abuse to harassment, improper detention and physical assault.
When a police officer fails to measure up to the appropriate standards of conduct, the help of an experienced New York civil rights litigation attorney may be necessary for the victim to achieve justice. An attorney can advise you of the policies, procedures and rules of law that the police must follow to ensure your civil rights are protected and advocate on your behalf when police violate their sworn duty. An attorney can serve as your advocate in proceedings that are heavily weighted against you and in favor of police.
If you believe your civil rights have been violated by New York City police or other law enforcement personnel in New York State, contact Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. today. We can protect your rights and ensure that you are not subjected to the will of police and New York City government bureaucracy on your own.
Interactions between New York police and the citizens they are sworn to protect make headlines when they go wrong and someone dies or is severely injured. But law enforcement officials and civilians alike know that numerous slights, indignities and outright violations of civil rights occur every day that few people ever hear about. Most cases do not make headlines.
The New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) is an independent agency empowered to investigate, mediate, hear, make findings and recommend action on complaints against New York City police. It is authorized to investigate complaints against NYC police officers alleging the use of excessive or unnecessary force also known as police brutality, abuse of authority, discourtesy, and the use of offensive language.
In some cases, review board attorneys prosecute officers at disciplinary trials, but in most cases the board only passes along recommendations. Only the police commissioner has the authority to decide the level of discipline and impose punishment on an officer.
In 2014, the CCRB received 4,779 complaints, an average of 13 every day. The CCRB completed 1,922 full investigations and substantiated at least one allegation in 17 percent of cases it investigated in 2014. The police commissioner disciplined 103 officers, a disciplinary action rate of 73 percent among CCRB-substantiated complaints, according to the city.
Police misconduct can take many forms, including:
If you or a loved one has experienced any such injuries, a New York lawyer who is skilled in civil rights litigation should be consulted immediately. This kind of activity is illegal and victims of police brutality deserve a strong advocate.
A lawyer from Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. can help make sure that your complaint is heard and does not get swept aside. In addition, with an attorney looking out for your rights, you can be assured that every question you have will be answered and explained as your case moves forward.
In addition to advising you as your complaint makes its way through the Civilian Complaint Review Board, a civil rights lawyer can conduct an independent investigation of your case and file a lawsuit on your behalf if evidence supports your claim. Federal laws ensure that a citizen of the United States cannot legally be deprived of constitutional rights and privileges by the government or any government representative, including the police.
U.S. citizens who have been denied their rights by the police may sue to recover compensation in the form of compensable and punitive damages, as well as the cost of their attorneys’ fees. Compensable damages include payments for economic losses, such as medical bills, lost income and property damage. Punitive damages are additional payments required by the court to punish those who have violated the plaintiff’s rights and to serve as disincentive to others who would act in similar fashion.
As you may expect, lawsuits against the police require strong cases to be successful. Police officers enjoy qualified immunity, which allows them the discretion to take certain steps, including inflicting physical harm, in the performance of their duties. While this is necessary for the police to adequately protect the public, their power is not without limits. Police officers who exceed their legal boundaries can and should be held accountable.
Hecht Kleeger & Damashek will investigate the circumstances of your case and gather evidence of police misconduct if it occurred. We can help you obtain damages you deserve for any physical, psychological or financial harm you have suffered because of police brutality or other misconduct.
At Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., we have the knowledge and experience to approach your case with competence and energetic advocacy. If you have had your rights violated by a police officer entrusted with special rights and powers, it is easy to feel overwhelmed, scared and unsure of where to turn. When our firm stands up for your rights, you are not alone.
We have experience standing up to injustices and misconduct committed by law enforcement personnel, and are dedicated to fighting for the rights of our clients. We have the know-how and resources required to investigate matters of police brutality and collect any available evidence to substantiate our clients’ claims. We have recovered tens of millions of dollars for our clients and will always seek the top cash award available in our pursuit of justice.
We’re here to protect your rights. Contact Hecht Kleeger & Damashek today to begin the work of collecting the evidenced required to substantiate your claim.