Police brutality has been getting a lot of attention in the news. But, how big of a deal is police brutality? And how can you protect yourself from police brutality in Bristol, Connecticut? You can find out on this page.
What is Police Brutality?
Police brutality occurs when a police officer uses excessive force in a given situation. If the force was unnecessary, the office could be guilty of police brutality. This does not mean that all force used by a police officer or government official is illegal. But there are situations where an officer escalates the situation unnecessarily. In these situations, a police brutality claim could be valid.
In the event of police brutality, a victim can do a few things. First, they could file a complaint with the United States Department of Justice to take action against the at-fault party. Second, they could file a civil rights complaint. Finally, they could file a lawsuit to recover damages. If you are worried about police brutality in your area, learn more about recent complaints here.
Police Brutality in Bristol, Connecticut
Police brutality can happen anywhere, and it has happened in Bristol. Learn more about some police brutality situations here:
- A man brought a 1983 civil rights complaint against the City of Bristol, the Bristol police department, and several Bristol police officers for use of excessive force. Milner v. City of Bristol, No. 3:18cv1104, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141825, at *1, 3 (D. Conn. Aug 21, 2019). This source says that the plaintiff alleges he was the passenger in his fiancé’s car when police directed her to pull over without probable cause. The plaintiff then alleges he tried to cooperate with police when they told him to get out of the car, but police knocked him to the ground. They repeatedly struck him on the head, back, and legs before handcuffing him and then hit him a few more times. The plaintiff tried to warn officers while in the back of the cruiser he felt a seizure coming on, but was ignored and then proceeded to have a violent seizure and was transported to the hospital. The Connecticut Federal District Court dismissed the claims against the police department and City but allowed the plaintiff to continue with his case of excessive force against the individual police officers.
- An individual brought a civil rights violation arising out of a traffic stop conducted by Bristol police officers for excessive force. Bryant v. Ward, No. 3:09CV981, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77345, at *1 (D. Conn. July 18, 2011). This source claims that the plaintiff was arrested for driving with a suspended license, but it was later discovered he was not suspended, and the DMV had made an error. The Connecticut Federal District Court dismissed the 1983 claim, ruling the plaintiff failed to prove there was any evidence that a right was violated, or excessive force used.
- An inmate brought a complaint against the Bristol police department and individual officers for many claims including false arrest and use of excessive force. Torres, Town v. Bristol, No. 3:13-cv-1335, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39149, at *1, 2 (D. Conn. Mar. 27, 2015). This source says that the Connecticut Federal District Court dismissed the claims because the officers had sufficient probable cause to arrest the inmate for selling heroin and there was no evidence to support police officers used excessive force.
If you think that you have a police brutality claim, contact our office for more information and assistance.