The Law Offices of Raymond R. Jones firmly believes in protecting your rights as a citizen under the U.S. Constitution. As such, you should not be subjected to unlawful and injurious misconduct at the hands of the very people whose duties are protecting you.
Our law firm takes an aggressive litigation approach to put up a strong fight for you in your Washington D.C. police misconduct lawsuit against police brutality.
Can You Sue a Cop for Abuse of Power?
You can sue a cop for abuse of power as a civil lawsuit, which also constitutes disciplinary action by their superiors. As a victim of police brutality, you can start a lawsuit against police officers to receive compensation for any injury or damages that happened. If you are a victim of brutality from the police, act now.
Schedule a free initial consultation with our DC law firm to learn more on police brutality. Call (202) 640-2889 or contact us online
What Constitutes Police Misconduct?
While our police in DC are entrusted with the responsibility of preserving safety within the community, any misconduct on their part can result in disciplinary action. Police misconduct generally includes unlawful searches and seizures in violation of the Fourth Amendment and excessive use of force.
Some specific instances of misconduct include:
- Use of unnecessary or excessive force / police brutality
- Use of language or conduct that is insulting, demeaning, or humiliating
- Discrimination on the basis of a person's race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical disability, political affiliation, source of income, or place of residence or business
- Retaliation against a person for filing a complaint
- Failure to wear or display required identification or to identify by name and badge number when requested to do so by a member of the public
Be aware that law enforcement officers in Washington DC are protected by "qualified immunity" if it can be proven that their actions didn’t violate specific individual rights, though evidence of their unlawful misconduct as law enforcement officers can override this. In fact, federal law explicitly states that anyone who willfully subjects a person to the deprivation of their rights, privileges, or immunities protected by the U.S. Constitution is guilty of a crime.
Such deprivation of rights may include:
- Physical assault
- Sexual misconduct
- Deliberate indifference to a serious medical condition or substantial risk of harm
- A failure to intervene
To take legal action, victims of police misconduct in Washington DC may file a complaint alleging criminal violations by a peace officer. However, a claim or complaint against a police officer while a person has charges pending may waive their right to remain silent in certain circumstances, and any information contained in the complaint may be used against them. In any case, filing a lawsuit of misconduct against police is a way of holding an officer accountable for their unlawful actions.
Filing a Claim of Police Misconduct
The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) encourages individuals to report incidents of police misconduct that they have been subjected to or even witnessed. Individuals can file a complaint with either the MPD or the Office of Police Complaints (OPC). There are two distinct processes for reviewing and investigating complaints depending on which department handles the complaint.
The MPD may:
- Investigate complaints against its members through the MPD Internal Affairs Division and chain-of-command officials
- Investigate complaints filed at any time alleging any type of misconduct, including misconduct that can be investigated by the OPC
- Investigate anonymous complaints
The D.C. OPC, on the other hand, is a District of Columbia-specific agency independent of the MPD and has its own investigative staff. The OPC was established by the District of Columbia Government to provide the public with an independent and impartial forum for the review and resolution of police misconduct complaints filed by the public against MPD officers.
Whether filing a complaint with the MPD or OPC, it is critical that the person filing provides the following information to describe the event:
- Day, date, time, and location of the incident
- Officer’s name, badge number, and description
- Witnesses’ names, addresses, and phone numbers
- License numbers for any vehicles involved in the incident
- Any other relevant evidence, such as copies of traffic tickets, police reports, photographs, and medical records, as well as the nature and extent of injuries
Note that every person who wants to file a complaint with the OPC must submit a completed and signed complaint form within 45 days of the underlying incident. A report filed with the MPD can be done at any time.
While complaints may proceed to further investigation for resolution, mediation is also an option to resolve a dispute of police misconduct. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process that the OPC may choose for some of the complaints filed with the agency.
All mediation sessions are facilitated by an independent, unbiased third-party mediator who will guide the complainant and the subject officer through a conversation about the incident that led to the complaint to reach a common understanding between the parties. Failure to reach an agreement has no impact on any later consideration of the complaint, though if an agreement is not reached the complaint will be referred back to the OPC to determine if the complaint warrants further investigation or dismissal.
The federal Department of Justice (DOJ) is the final group that investigates police misconduct claims and must prove the following to get convict someone:
- The police officer deprived a victim of a right protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States;
- The defendant acted willfully; and
- The defendant was acting under color of law.
If You’ve Been a Victim of Policy Brutality, Schedule a FREE Consultation with a Civil Litigation Lawyer Serving Washington D.C.
If you believe you have experienced an incident of police misconduct, you have the right to take legal action by filing a claim with the Metropolitan Police Department or the Office of Police Complaints. A police officer is responsible for protecting the public, but this special power they hold in their office cannot be abused to harm or injure citizens and their protected constitutional rights. At the Law Offices of Raymond R. Jones, we believe that protecting your rights as a citizen should not be compromised by police misconduct or brutal, excessive force.
Let the Law Offices of Raymond R. Jones help you reclaim the justice you deserve. Schedule a free initial consultation with a dedicated Washington D.C. police misconduct attorney at (202) 640-2889 or online here.
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- Nearly 20 Years of Litigation Experience