New York Police Misconduct
Police officers and other law enforcement officials have a duty to protect the community. They also have a duty to uphold the U.S. Constitution. In fact, they take an oath saying that they swear to do so. Unfortunately, not all law enforcement officials always do what they are required to do. Instead of protecting the community and upholding the Constitution, they harm the community and violate the Constitution by committing unlawful actions. When police officers fail to follow the rules, their actions cause their victim physical personal injury, emotional damage, and economic loss. If you or a family member has been a victim of police misconduct or misconduct by another type of law enforcement officer, you have the right to seek justice. Immediately contact an experienced New York police misconduct lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates to discuss your case.Types of Police Misconduct
When police misconduct is featured in the media, we typically hear stories of use of excessive force resulting in serious injuries or wrongful death (link to: https://www.1800nynylaw.com/new-york-wrongful-death.html). However, there are many other types of police misconduct that may result in serious physical injury, emotional harm, as well as a violation of constitutional rights.
Examples of unlawful actions by police that would result in civil liability include:
- Racial profiling
- Falsified evidence
- Sexual assault
- Malicious prosecution
- Illegal search and seizure
- Coerced confessions
- False arrest
- Other violations of due process
- Improper use of restraints
- False imprisonment
- Illegal bodily cavity or strip searches
When a police officer commits a criminal act while performing their duties, they are subject to departmental reprimand. In some cases they may also be prosecuted. However, as a police misconduct attorney in New York will explain, victims of police misconduct are also entitled to pursue money damages through filing civil lawsuits—typically under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Through a civil lawsuit, the victim can pursue different types of money damages: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Depending on the specific facts of a case, the amount of possible damages can be substantial.
Economic damages. Economic damages are out-of-pocket losses that the victim suffered because of the actions of the police officer. For example, if the officer used excessive force, and as a result the victim suffered broken bones, organ injury, a traumatic brain injury, or heart attack, the victim will have significant medical bills including bills associated with the hospital stay, surgery, rehabilitation, and medication. The amount of those bills are economic damages. In addition, a victim who suffers a significant injury will also miss work or may not be able to work again. Lost wages and benefits are also compensable economic damages.
Non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are damages that are more subjective and are not closely associated with a bill. Pain and suffering is a non-economic damage and refers to the both the physical pain a victim suffers from an injury and the emotional impact of the experience. For example, a victim many receive a substantial non-economic damage award if the actions of a police officer left them permanently disabled or requiring extended psychological treatment.
Punitive damages. Economic and non-economic damages are designed to compensate the victim for their losses. However, punitive damages are designed to punish. When there is video of a police officer repeatedly beating a suspect who is not fighting back and who does not have a weapon, the actions of the police officer are outrageous. As a result, punitive damages may be awarded because the officer’s actions demonstrated a lack of concern for the life of the victim. As a police misconduct attorney in New York will explain, punitive damages can account for the majority of a damage award in a police misconduct case.Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates
Whether it was excessive force, sexual assault, a coerced confession, false arrest, or some other unlawful action, if you were the victim of police misconduct, you deserve to be compensated not only for the losses you suffered, but for the outrageous actions of the police. Contact an experienced police misconduct attorney serving New York at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We will review your case and discuss options for pursuing damages under federal or state law. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island, Staten Island, Queens, Nassau County, Westchester County, Bronx, and Suffolk County.