Police Misconduct

POLICE MISCONDUCT
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POLICE MISCONDUCT

USE OF DEADLY FORCE CLAIMS

USE OF DEADLY FORCE CLAIMS

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Investigating deadly force claims requires significant resources. At the minimum, you will need: a deadly force expert, an aerial photographer, an incident-scene reconstruction expert, a blood splatter expert, and an expert to examine the entry and exit wounds and the body in question. These cases are fact-specific; just because a person shot by the police had a weapon does not mean you will lose your case. Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1, 11, 105 S. Ct. 1694, 1701, 85 L. Ed. 2d 1 (1985). Similarly, just because the person shot did not have a weapon does not automatically mean you will win. Deadly force cases depend extensively on a close analysis of the facts, and that cannot happen without an in-depth understanding of the law. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 386, 109 S. Ct. 1865, 1866, 104 L. Ed. 2d 443 (U.S. 1989). 

Investigating deadly force claims requires significant resources. At the minimum, you will need: a deadly force expert, an aerial photographer, an incident-scene reconstruction expert, a blood splatter expert, and an expert to examine the entry and exit wounds and the body in question. These cases are fact-specific; just because a person shot by the police had a weapon does not mean you will lose your case. Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1, 11, 105 S. Ct. 1694, 1701, 85 L. Ed. 2d 1 (1985). Similarly, just because the person shot did not have a weapon does not automatically mean you will win. Deadly force cases depend extensively on a close analysis of the facts, and that cannot happen without an in-depth understanding of the law. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 386, 109 S. Ct. 1865, 1866, 104 L. Ed. 2d 443 (U.S. 1989). 

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The Supreme Court has stated that “[b]ecause [t]he test of reasonableness under the Fourth Amendment is not capable of precise definition or mechanical application…” its proper application requires careful attention to the facts and circumstances of each particular case, including the severity of the crime at issue. Facts taken into consideration are whether the suspect posed an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others, and whether he was actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight (among many others). See Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S., at 8–9, 105 S.Ct., at 1699–1700 (questioning “whether the totality of the circumstances justifie[s] a particular sort of ... seizure.”) Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 396, 109 S. Ct. 1865, 1872, 104 L. Ed. 2d 443 (U.S. 1989).

The Supreme Court has stated that “[b]ecause [t]he test of reasonableness under the Fourth Amendment is not capable of precise definition or mechanical application…” its proper application requires careful attention to the facts and circumstances of each particular case, including the severity of the crime at issue. Facts taken into consideration are whether the suspect posed an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others, and whether he was actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight (among many others). See Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S., at 8–9, 105 S.Ct., at 1699–1700 (questioning “whether the totality of the circumstances justifie[s] a particular sort of ... seizure.”) Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 396, 109 S. Ct. 1865, 1872, 104 L. Ed. 2d 443 (U.S. 1989).

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Importantly, the test for the use of deadly force is based on a complex and vague term: reasonableness. In regard to the law, one thing is for sure: Reasonableness is an objective test that does not consider subjective standards.  

Importantly, the test for the use of deadly force is based on a complex and vague term: reasonableness. In regard to the law, one thing is for sure: Reasonableness is an objective test that does not consider subjective standards.  

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This means that theoretically, an officer could shoot a person in anger or out of hate, but if that same officer is able to articulate a reasonable basis for shooting that person—a basis that is supported by objective facts—the law protects said officer.



This means that theoretically, an officer could shoot a person in anger or out of hate, but if that same officer is able to articulate a reasonable basis for shooting that person—a basis that is supported by objective facts—the law protects said officer.

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Call NDH today. Our Civil and Human rights attorneys have the resources and experience to pursue these claims. We will help you gain justice and hold officers who unlawfully use deadly force accountable.

Call NDH today. Our Civil and Human rights attorneys have the resources and experience to pursue these claims. We will help you gain justice and hold officers who unlawfully use deadly force accountable.

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False Arrest ClaimsLess

False Arrest Claims

False arrest cases are as hard as deadly force cases, if not harder. Take a look at what the Supreme Court has said: "The Fourth Amendment is not violated by an arrest based on probable cause, even though the wrong person is arrested, Hill v. California, 401 U.S. 797, 91 S.Ct. 1106, 28 L.Ed.2d 484 (1971), nor by the mistaken execution of a valid search warrant on the wrong premises.” 

False arrest cases are as hard as deadly force cases, if not harder. Take a look at what the Supreme Court has said: "The Fourth Amendment is not violated by an arrest based on probable cause, even though the wrong person is arrested, Hill v. California, 401 U.S. 797, 91 S.Ct. 1106, 28 L.Ed.2d 484 (1971), nor by the mistaken execution of a valid search warrant on the wrong premises.” 

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You may have heard of the phrase ‘probable cause.’ Probable cause can be based merely on the self-serving statement of a witness, if found to be credible. Or, an officer can arrest you and get away with that arrest if he or she merely is able to convincingly argue that they had probable cause to arrest you. In other words: if it is arguable that probable cause existed, the arrest meets constitutional muster. Lee v. Ferraro, 284 F.3d 1188, 1195 (11th Cir. 2002).



We can help. Call NDH today.

You may have heard of the phrase ‘probable cause.’ Probable cause can be based merely on the self-serving statement of a witness, if found to be credible. Or, an officer can arrest you and get away with that arrest if he or she merely is able to convincingly argue that they had probable cause to arrest you. In other words: if it is arguable that probable cause existed, the arrest meets constitutional muster. Lee v. Ferraro, 284 F.3d 1188, 1195 (11th Cir. 2002).


We can help. Call NDH today.

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