10 Examples of Police Misconduct to Refer to for Your Case
Police misconduct is an issue that has increasingly become a part of our national consciousness over the last few years. With an alarming number of high profile police shootings driving calls for police reform, every American has dealt with this issue in one way or another.
Police misconduct refers to actions taken by law enforcement officers that either breaks the law or police guidelines while they are performing their roles. Examples include police brutality, sexual assault, tampering with evidence, coerced confessions, theft, false arrest, and more.
If you have been the victim of police misconduct, the first thing you should do is consult with a qualified criminal defense attorney who can review your case and determine if police misconduct has resulted in your charges. If so, they could be able to reduce your charges or get them thrown out completely.
Furthermore, here are 10 real-life examples of police misconduct that you can refer to for your case.
1) Police Brutality
The tragic death of George Floyd needs no introduction and is a clear example of police brutality. A crowd of people gathered around and videoed while a Minneapolis police officer dug his knee into Floyd’s back and kept it there even while Floyd repeatedly told the officer he couldn’t breathe.
Floyd eventually died and the officer and three others who were working with him are now awaiting trial.
2) Witness Tampering
Witness tampering occurs when police officers use bribes, threats, or coerce individuals to provide condemning testimony of a person charged with a crime. In a case in Hawaii, several officers attempted to bribe an individual to withdraw their complaint that one of them had stolen $1,800.
In the end, the officer who was guilty of both the theft and witness tampering was fired and given a two-year prison sentence.
3) False Arrest
A Chicago woman who had helped rescue a Chicago police officer from a burning car was arrested at the scene on suspicion that she had stolen the officer’s gun. Over the next ten months while in prison, the woman was repeatedly pressured into signing a sworn statement.
At trial, the judge dismissed the case, and the woman sued the city and won $7.7 million for the false arrest and coercive questioning.
4) Sexual Assault
In an infamous New York City Case, two officers kidnapped a woman after they arrested her for marijuana possession and proceeded to sexually assault her. The officers told the woman that if she performed certain acts on them they would drop her charges. As a result, the officers themselves were charged with a litany of crimes including kidnapping and sexual assault.
5) Planted Evidence
In South Carolina, a police officer shot and killed an unarmed man who was trying to flee. To make the scene appear as though the man had a weapon, the officer planted his taser next to the body and claimed that the man had stolen it from him.
As a result of this lie and planted evidence, the officer was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
6) Racial Profiling
Unfortunately, racial profiling can happen anywhere anytime. One egregious example, though, occurred in Ferguson, Missouri. Reports showed that officers were regularly stopping and searching men of color even though they didn’t have a warrant or probable cause.
As a result of the racial profiling in Ferguson, officers went on to lie about their actions to investigators who were looking into the racial profiling. Unfortunately, even the officers caught lying were only suspended for short periods of time.
In many cities, police officers are prohibited from drinking on duty and if they have been they can be charged with police misconduct. One police officer in Grovetown, Georgia was fired two days after filing paperwork while drunk with a blood-alcohol level of .087.
9) Fabricating Evidence
Almost 30 years ago, a New York Police officer was convicted for fabricating evidence after he added fingerprints of the accused to evidence cards claiming they were from the murder scene.
10) Excessive Force
In addition to George Floyd, a rash of police officers using excessive force has swept the nation over the last decade. Philando Castile, Jacob Blake, Eric Garner, and others have sustained serious injuries or died at the hands of police officers who used excessive force.
While excessive force is often the result of officers firing their weapons prematurely or unnecessarily, not every case involved firearms.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of police misconduct, contact a lawyer immediately. A qualified criminal defense attorney will know how to probe officer behavior and help you get your case thrown out if misconduct occurred.