Police misconduct has, unfortunately, become a household phrase over the last few years, even though it is hardly a new concept. Horrific incidents like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Valentina Orellana-Peralta are only three examples of many that have resulted from unlawful action by police officers. Although courts have been cracking down on the aftermath of incidents, there are still types of unassuming misconduct everyone should be aware of. When we hear “police misconduct,” what comes to mind?
One of the ways police misconduct occurs is when law enforcement falsely or wrongfully arrests a citizen. In a case in Alabama, pastor Michael Jennings, was quickly arrested after being found on a neighbors’ front lawn. Jennings told the arresting officers he was watering flowers and keeping an eye on the house while his neighbors were away. Within five minutes, Jennings was in the backseat of the police car, says NPR. From bodycam footage, Jennings’ lawyers have decided the arrest was unlawful. This type of misconduct is also called false imprisonment; the intentional and forceful detainment of a citizen, says Science Direct.
When Unlawful Search Turns into Police Shootings
Unlawful search of a person, place, or automobile without a court signed warrant or probable cause is a constitutional violation and police misconduct, says Cornell. In the case of Breonna Taylor, officers had a “no-knock” warrant that allowed them to enter Taylor’s home without her knowledge, raid her home, and shoot and kill her, says USAToday. Questions surrounding the warrant involve the legality of it altogether, says the article, as well as the officers even entering the correct house. Unlawful use of force, as well as three other offenses have been tied to the case, says Politico. Officers were also accused of obtaining the warrant under false information.
Police Misconduct: What is Excessive Force?
One of those most unconstitutional acts of police misconduct is excessive force. This is when law enforcement uses unnecessary force to detain a citizen, says Cornell. There are far too many cases of this in American history, however, the one that has been seared into the minds of most of the country is George Floyd. Arrested, held down, and suffocated to death, Floyd’s case has created the largest racial justice protests since the Civil Rights Movements, says CBSNews. It isn’t just the action of the officer using excessive force that is held responsible. A police officer may be responsible for allowing another officer to use excessive force while present as well, says Cornell.
Police Misconduct is easy to spot when it’s physical, however, what if it isn’t? Intimidation and verbal abuse are also examples of misconduct, says Britannica. This means if an officer uses racial slurs, sexual threats, or other verbally violent language, they are exhibiting misconduct, says the article.
Louisville has banned “no-knock” warrants, President Biden has passed an Executive Order on police reform and transparency, and most states have signed bills to change future policing (including chokeholds, warrants, and transparency within the police force). Although the culture surrounding law enforcement and police misconduct is changing, there is still much work to be done.
Your Loved Ones: Are They A Victim of Police Shootings or Brutality?
The Sehat Law Firm helps you assert your constitutional rights and the rights of your loved ones. We stand up to the bureaucracies for you and help bring justice and compensation for your pain and suffering, whether it was from a police shooting, tasing, k9 mauling, or even prison medical neglect. There is no need to stand by—please contact The Sehat Law Firm, we want to hear your case.