Police do have a lot of power, but they can’t violate your rights. Laws have been passed to ensure that citizens are protected, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1871. Under Title 42, Section 1983, you have protection against police misconduct. Essentially, you have rights that are granted under the Constitution, and officers who violate these rights are committing criminal offenses.
This can happen in numerous different ways. For example, police may use excessive force when arresting you. Obviously, force is needed in some cases, but police can’t just use the maximum amount of force at all times, even when you’re not resisting arrest and you’ve done nothing wrong. This is why instances in which officers are accused of beating alleged criminals or using firearms when they weren’t needed have caused such a stir in the past.
One crucial thing to note, though, is that police officers have an obligation to step up and stop rights violations if they see them happening. They can’t just stand by and let other officers break the law. If one officer sees that excessive force is clearly being used and does nothing, he or she could be as guilty of misconduct as those who were using excessive force to begin with.
If your right have been violated and you want to seek both justice and compensation, it’s important to remember exactly what rights you have and who may be guilty. You may be able to take action against everyone who was involved, even if the involvement was different for different parties. If you’d like to learn more, our website has a lot of useful information.