Being arrested is a frightening and traumatic event that is only made much worse when the police act with excessive force or brutality.
Unquestionably, the law enforcement officers in our state have a difficult and dangerous job, and we all want them to have the resources necessary to protect the public. But there are unfortunately some officers who overstep their bounds and act with excessive aggression, force, or violence toward criminal suspects or even innocent bystanders.
At Van Sant Law, we are dedicated to holding police officers accountable when they violate the law. The police may be powerful, but so are your rights. If you’ve been mistreated or injured by law enforcement, an experienced Atlanta police brutality attorney at our firm can help you fight for justice.
What is considered reasonable force?
Generally speaking, courts in Georgia will consider the specific facts and circumstances of an officer’s use of force to determine whether it was objectively reasonable.
The U.S. Supreme Court has handed down a few factors that courts should consider in making that determination:
- The severity of the crime,
- Whether the suspect posed an immediate threat to the officers or to others, and
- Whether the suspect was actively resisting arrest or attempting to flee in order to avoid arrest.
The court is also free to consider other factors and circumstances. For instance, some courts have looked at the extent of the injury inflicted upon the suspect, as well as the amount of force used relative to the amount that was warranted. An Atlanta police brutality attorney can help you understand whether police applied objectively reasonable force in your case.
Knowing the Right Questions to Ask
When you meet with an Atlanta police brutality attorney at Van Sant Law, we will ask a series of questions to help us better understand the scenario and determine whether you might have a case.
Some of the questions we are likely to ask include:
- Did the officers continue to apply force once the suspect was disabled, subdued, no longer posing a threat, or attempting to flee?
- Were the officer’s actions necessary to subdue the suspect?
- What is the nature of the injuries? Did the suspect suffer any broken bones, severe facial injuries, a heart attack, internal injuries, or respiratory distress?
- If a taser was used, how many times was the suspect shocked? What was the suspect doing at the time the taser was used? Did the suspect pose a threat? Had the suspect been handcuffed or apprehended yet?
- If the officers used tasers, batons, pepper spray, or other weapons, did they follow the requisite procedures for doing so? (Our attorneys will help you understand the procedures to determine if the police acted accordingly.)
- If pepper spray was used, did the officer intentionally aim the spray at the suspect’s face at close range and/or after the suspect was handcuffed?
- After the suspect was handcuffed, was he or she thrown to the ground, thrown against an object, or struck by the officer?
These are just a few of the questions we may ask during the course of a consultation. You can start thinking about the answers to these questions now, but you should not assume that they have any bearing on your case until you talk with an attorney.
You Have Legal Protection Against Excessive Force and Police Brutality
Even if you are guilty of a crime, the state and federal Constitutions protect you from excessive force and police brutality. If you’ve sustained injury or damage because an officer acted inappropriately, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
At Van Sant Law, we have successfully represented hundreds of victims of police misconduct. These are people whose lives have changed because we restored justice and recovered compensation on their behalf.
A Law Firm That Fights for Your Rights
The personal injury trial lawyers at Van Sant Law are dedicated to fighting for your rights and standing up against excessive force and police brutality.
Our experienced Georgia personal injury attorneys recover millions of dollars each year on behalf of people who were injured because of someone else’s irresponsible behavior.
If you or a loved one is the victim of excessive force or police brutality, contact Van Sant Law and schedule a free consultation today. Call us at 404-991-5950 or use our convenient online contact form.
We have several offices which are located in Atlanta, Alpharetta, Cumming, and Duluth, Lawrenceville, Sandy Springs, and Gainesville and represent clients throughout Georgia. Rely on our skill and legal expertise to seek the recovery you deserve.