Unfortunately, the news is full of recent examples of police misconduct. What is scary is that usually by the time somebody gets caught they have been getting away with the misconduct for a long time. We hear about the most outrageous abuses of power, like police shooting unarmed suspects, frequently. However, it is unlikely that a cop’s first police misconduct incident starts out with shooting a suspect; frequently, his or her first incident will involve a lesser use of force and will gradually increase in intensity if gone unchecked. These are the sort of things that a police misconduct lawyer specializes in combating.
Most likely the incidents that do not make national news headlines are a beginning in heading down a wrong path. An officer could start out violating people’s rights and maybe escalate to other shady activities like taking money to look the other way when criminal activity is afoot. The more the cop gets away with, the further he or she goes down that road until eventually, somebody winds up dead. The proliferation of cell phones with cameras has helped to expose an injustice that is so widespread it leads us to suspect it’s a part of police culture and has been for decades.
Racial Profiling is when police stop somebody because of their skin color and subjects the person to an illegal search and questioning using intimidation, verbal abuse and threats of bodily harm. A recent local example of racial profiling is the story published in Newsweek, The Perils of Driving While Black in Los Angeles, by T.K. Coleman.
Coleman, an educator, philosopher, writer, and businessman recounts the terrifying experience of being stopped without probable cause while on the way to see a comedy show in Manhattan Beach with his wife. T.K. was intimidated and verbally abused, including being called a “nigger,” handcuffed and thrown into the back of a squad car while the two criminal police interrogated his wife.
Police Excessive Force is when police use an unnecessary degree of force to detain a suspect who is no danger to the officer or anybody else. A recent example would be the Stockton, California police officer who beat an unarmed teen with a baton, in an attempt to force him to obey the order to sit down.
The unarmed African-American teen jaywalked across the street to the bus stop when the officer began the arrest and assault. Racial profiling could have also played a part in this criminal behavior by Stockton police. It would be hard to imagine a cop behaving the same way to a white kid jaywalking in an upscale neighborhood.
Prison and Jail Guard Misconduct is when prison and jail guards violate your constitutional rights while you are incarcerated, including
- racial profiling
- excessive force
- setting up inmates to be attacked by other inmates (which is a criminal conspiracy to commit assault or murder)
- standing by without intervening while an inmate is attacked
- stealing from inmates
The above list is not all-inclusive. One recent example is the investigation into institutionalized prison guard misconduct at High Desert State Prison, an isolated facility where guards got away with abusing inmates for decades.
Police Corruption is at the Root of the Problem
Police Corruption comes in many forms. It can involve an entire police department or individual police. For instance, if a police officer takes a bribe to look the other way and allow criminal activity to go unchecked, or is directly involved in criminal activity like dealing drugs, child sex trafficking, and pornography or gang activity.
It can be systemic when somebody makes a formal complaint and the department refuses to act. Most recently two LAPD cops who had been allowed to rape several women over the course of many years were only and finally taken off the street when one victim won her lawsuit and was awarded damages over $500,000. Those rapist cops would likely still be preying on defenseless women if one of the victims had not filed a lawsuit in civil court. Both cops faced criminal charges after the department finally did something about their sick and predatory behavior.
We need police to keep us safe from anarchy. But when an entire police department, from the chief on down, does nothing about police misconduct and allows police to continue to get away with violating people’s rights, then the police department is corrupted. Frequently, a corrupt police department does nothing to stop a rogue cop until the officer escalates to the point that of doing something so outrageous it makes the news. Even after a public outcry, it is rare for a cop to face criminal charges.
Cameron Sehat and the Sehat Law Team Will Help You to Stand Up to Corrupt Police
One way to halt police corruption and demand accountability is through civil litigation. If you or somebody you love has been a victim of police misconduct and needs an attorney, then you need to talk to a civil rights litigation lawyer without delay. Cameron Sehat and the Sehat law team are here to help you. Give us a call free of charge at 855-468-5291. We will discuss your situation and determine how best to help you. Together we can make a difference.