What is Police Misconduct and What Can Be Done About It?


Sometimes, the police might act in unprofessional, unethical, or even illegal ways. If this happens to you, then you may be able to take legal action against the police officer in question. If you have experienced things such as excessive force, discrimination, illegal searches, or false imprisonment when dealing with the police, then you can hold them accountable to help ensure that it doesn’t happen to anybody else. As citizens, it’s important that we are able to trust the police and if they’ve acted in an unethical way or committed any kind of misconduct, taking action and holding them accountable is important.

Get Legal Advice

If you believe that you are a victim of police misconduct, or a police officer has acted in an unprofessional, unethical, or illegal way towards you, then it’s a good idea to get legal advice from a professional police misconduct attorney. There are several instances where you might have grounds for a claim against the police, including:

Excessive Force

Excessive force or police brutality occurs when a police officer uses force that goes beyond what is reasonable for the situation at hand. It’s often a tough case to prove, as one person may have a completely different idea fromanother when it comes to what is reasonable and what isn’t. There are several factors that may go into proving that an officer used more force than was needed for the situation.

False Arrest

This misconduct is most often charged against police officers. In simple terms, false arrest means that a person is arrested without probable cause. Simply put, it is unlawful for the police to just stop and arrest anybody on the street unless there is a reasonable suspicion of them or another good reason for doing so. For example, an officer could stop somebody who matches the description of somebody who is thought to have committed a crime nearby.

Malicious Prosecution

Another reason why you may be able to sue a police officer is malicious prosecution. This is the idea that the officer only arrested you out of malice or anger towards you, rather than because there was any reasonable suspicion that you committed a crime. In this situation, you will need to be able to prove that the officer didn’t have any probable cause to arrest you, and you are not convicted of any crime.

When is it Misconduct?

It’s important to understand the difference between misconduct and the police acting with the information that they have available to them. For example, if you were arrested because you are wearing similar clothing to a suspect and later released with no charge, this is not false arrest. Any time an officer has reasonable suspicion or a good reason to act in a certain way is unlikely to be misconduct.

If you believe that you have not been treated fairly in dealings with the police, then a good lawyer who deals with police misconduct cases can help you dive deeper into the details and figure out whether you have a case.