Interacting with the police can evoke different emotions in different people. Some people feel safe when they see police officers, while others experience uncertainty and fear. Even though we are raised to trust the police, and even though there are great cops out there, there are also bad cops who can abuse their power. This abuse of power can result in police brutality. On this page, you can learn more about what police brutality looks like in West Hartford, Connecticut.
What is Police Brutality?
Police brutality happens when an officer uses excessive or unreasonable force on another individual. Excessive force occurs in any situation where a government official who is allowed to use force against other people uses too much force for that situation. Police officers need to use their training and experience to determine if force is necessary in a given situation, and how much force is necessary. If there is no reason to use force, or if too much force is applied, police brutality can occur.
If you are a victim of police brutality, your constitutional and civil rights have been violated. In this case, you can do a few things to protect your rights and get help. First, you might consider filing a complaint under section 1983 of the United States Code. Alternatively, you could file a complaint with the United States Department of Justice.
Contacting an attorney to determine the best way to proceed is a good idea. This can make sure that you take the proper steps given your situation.
Police Brutality in West Hartford, Connecticut
Unfortunately, police brutality situations have occurred in West Hartford. If you live in the West Hartford area, learn more about a recent case so that you can understand how to protect yourself.
In 2018, the Town of West Hartford agreed to a settlement of lawsuits against two West Hartford police officers. The article linked above says that the allegations were that police shot a 12-year-old deaf student in the back of the head with a stun gun after he fled school to a nearby construction site on campus. The boy only communicates using sign language. Muschette v. Town of West Hartford, No. 3:13-cv-01337, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 188710, at *1, 3 (D. Conn. Nov. 15, 2017). According to this source, the police were called when the child became violent with staff after having an altercation about buying food in the cafeteria. The boy was shot with the taser because he was holding a large rock. The police administered shock to his head twice before being able to handcuff him. The plaintiffs’ claim his “passive resistance” of not putting down the rock did not warrant getting tasered in the head. The Connecticut Federal District Court concluded there was enough evidence for the case of use of excessive force to go before a jury.
If you think that you have experienced excessive force and police brutality in West Hartford, Connecticut, there are things that you can do to get justice. To learn more about your situation and how you should proceed, contact our office. We are happy to answer your questions and provide guidance.