Portland Police Brutality Attorney
While the police are supposed to protect and serve – and often do so – the sad truth is that too often, police brutality gets in the way of honorable service. When a person is the victim of police brutality, they may not only be permitted to bring forth criminal charges against the assaulting officer, but civil charges as well. If you believe that you have been brutalized by police in Portland or surrounding areas, you have legal rights. To learn more about those rights and how to file a civil action against a police department, please contact the Johnston Law Firm today for your free consultation.
Police Brutality and Excessive Use of Force Resulting in Injury
Police officers are allowed to use force in certain circumstances. In fact, force may even be necessary in some situations. That being said, citizens of the United States are legally protected from the use of excessive force and police brutality. Force is excessive, and may be characterized as police brutality, when it is more than is necessary to mitigate an incident, protect the officer or others from harm, or make an arrest.
When police brutality and the use of excessive force leads to an injury or death, the affected individual (or the deceased individual’s family) may bring a lawsuit against the officer/police department seeking financial compensation for economic and non-economic losses.
Damages Available in a Police Brutality Suit
When police abuse their power and use excessive force to brutality restrain or harm an individual, whether with their own hands (i.e. hitting, kicking, etc.,) or with a weapon, that individual has the right to seek civil damages. If police brutality leads to injuries, the victim may seek compensation for their economic and non-economic losses, including
- Medical expenses;
- Lost wages related to the injury;
- Pain and suffering;
- Attorneys’ fees;
- Disfigurement; and
- Any other expenses directly related to the incident.
If the incident results in death, family members may seek the damages listed above, as well as compensation for funeral and burial expenses.
Police Departments Ordered to Pay to Settle Police Brutality Cases
Because police officers are employees of city-run police departments, when a police officer engages in police brutality, the police department is liable for the individual’s actions in the majority of cases. Sadly, there have been numerous cases of police brutality throughout the nation, and thankfully, many cities have been ordered to pay large settlements to compensate victims for the wrongful harm they have suffered. In Portland alone, Oregon Live reports that these include:
- $562,000 to settle the case of a man who was repeated punched and tasered by Portland police officers;
- $206,372 to a man who was tasered five times in the back, and who was wrongly accused of a crime;
- $2.3 million in a use-of-force settlement to a man who was permanently disabled after an officer of the Portland police department fired rounds at him from a beanbag shotgun;
- $1.6 million in a use-of-force settlement resulting in the death of a man who had been taken into custody for urinating on a sidewalk; and
- $1.2 million to settle a lawsuit brought forth by the family of a man who who shot in the back, and was unarmed.
We Are Here for You
You have rights if you are a victim of police brutality. To learn more about these rights and bring forth your claim, call our law offices today. You can reach our experienced Portland police brutality lawyers now online or by phone, and can rest assured that we will work hard for you!