On May 25th, in the midst of the 2020 global COVID breakout, George Floyd was arrested, pinned to the ground by three officers, and brought to his death by suffocation. What followed his death was not only nationwide protests and uproar, but more incriminating evidence against the law enforcement involved. Violations of policies within the Minneapolis Police Department, as well as constitutional rights became apparent through video footage and bystander testimonials. Floyd’s case is a horrific example of police brutality and misconduct, two aspects of the Police Misconduct Provision law that aims to protect civilians against such atrocities.
Most law enforcement operates dutifully and respectfully within the communities they are assigned, states the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), however, for instances when this is not the case, there is a way of action. The Police Misconduct Provision law makes it “unlawful for State or local law enforcement officers to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives persons of rights protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.” Should a person be a victim of such violations, they can submit their claim by contacting the DOJ. The DOJ then may file suit for the violation and must prove there is a history of misconduct in a court of law. This law aims to protect civilians who have been the victims of misconduct including physical assault, sexual misconduct, deliberate indifference to a serious medical condition or a substantial risk of harm, and failure to intervene.
What is the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994?
In similarity with the Police Misconduct Provision, another Section further aims to recognize, restrict and eliminate misconduct. The 34 U.S.C. § 12601, also known as the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, states that the DOJ may investigate any federally funded law enforcement agency for signs of misconduct. This includes not only habitual brutality and discrimination against race, sex, ethnicity, or gender, but repeated unlawful stops, searches, or arrests. The DOJ, under this Section, has combed through dozens of law enforcement agencies nationwide with hired police experts to review incidents of policies, practices, and documents within the agencies. Remedies to such violations are addressed as well as a review of corrections from previous remedies.
This year alone there have been over seven deaths of unarmed civilians by the hands of law enforcement, reports Rolling Stone Magazine. At the beginning of the year, 29-year-old Tyre Nichols died three days after he was severely beaten by police officers during a traffic stop in Memphis, Tennessee. Several other shootings this year, from Washington to North Carolina are under investigation, says the article, many of which took place at or began at a traffic stop. Death by law enforcement is estimated to be over 1,000 civilians per year, reports The Washington Post. Although the number of misconducts is difficult to track, it’s safe to say there are quite a few. These statistics and reports serve as a stark reminder of how much the Police Misconduct Provision law, among other laws, need to be enforced.
Police Misconduct Lawyers in San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange County, Los Angeles County
Are you a victim of police abuse? Has your loved one suffered medical neglect or abuse while in jail? We understand the law can be confusing and that’s where we come in to help you enforce your rights. Our civil rights attorneys at The Sehat Law firm will fight with you and stand up to those who abuse their power. Please contact us, we want to hear your case.