San Francisco Police Brutality Lawyers
Safeguarding the civil rights of California victims of police misconduct and wrongdoing
Californians are no strangers to police brutality claims. To police, use of excessive or lethal force isn’t a gray area like it is to the rest of us. Sometimes the use of force is unavoidable and justifiable, but when an injury or death results from over reaction, law enforcement should be held accountable for their behavior.
At Taylor & Ring, we stand by clients whose civil rights have been violated at the hands of the police causing severe injury or tragic death. If you or a loved one has been the victim of police brutality or misconduct in San Francisco, our attorneys are here to fight for your rights. Contact us to learn more about your options.
Examples of police brutality and misconduct
The inappropriate behavior that exemplifies police brutality can be difficult prove. Some of the methods used to deprive you of your civil rights are:
- Unwarranted and/or excessive use of force
- Assault and battery
- Racial profiling
- Sexual abuse
- Verbal abuse
- False arrest
Regardless whether injuries and deaths of San Francisco citizens are the result of inadequate training or intentional violence, police departments and the cities they work for are ultimately responsible for the behavior of their law enforcement officers.
Protecting the rights of San Francisco citizens
Law enforcement’s job is “To Protect and to Serve.” Protecting citizens is a difficult job, which is why there are supposed to be such rigid training requirements to enter law enforcement, because actual lives are at stake. It’s an enormous responsibility that cannot be entrusted to just anyone.
Because police misconduct has become such a prevalent issue in California, additional policies are being created as a means to reduce (and ideally eliminate) these situations. According to USA Today, AB392 will “modify the conditions under which a police officer can legally use deadly force from times when it’s “reasonable’’ to when it’s “necessary”… [which] will change police culture and extend the downward trend in the number of fatalities at the hands of officers in California.”
When the police break the law and create innocent victims, someone else has to step in to protect San Francisco citizens. We want to help you stand up and hold those accountable for taking away your most basic freedom - safety.
Seeking compensation under the Bane Act or through a 1983 claim
When you suffer an injury or a loved one is killed during an interaction with the police, you may be entitled to compensation under two specific claims that deal with violating your legal rights.
The United States Code provides citizens with the option to seek relief under a “1983 claim.” This statute allows citizens to sue state government employees, such as law enforcement agencies and individual officers for violating his or her civil rights. The compensatory damages available under a 1983 claim include:
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of normal life
- Future earnings
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
The Bane Act falls under California Civil Code § 52.1, and offers other means of relief for victims of police brutality to receive restitution. This law puts forth no requirement to connect the reprehensible attack to racism. Instead, liability is tied to whether there was an “interference or attempted interference with the [victim’s] legal rights by the requisite threats, intimidation, or coercion.”
The Bane Act allows recovery for actual, statutory, and punitive damages, as well as attorneys’ fees.
When a victim’s civil rights have been violated it triggers his or her ability to file a civil lawsuit under state or federal law, but there is a limit as to how long you have to make your claim(s). Acting quickly is your best protection to secure your right to fight for the compensation you may be owed. Under the statute of limitations, a victim of police brutality has 2 years to file a civil rights lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 or a state claim under The Bane Act In California.
What should you do if you have been a victim of police brutality in San Francisco?
There are steps that you should take to preserve your rights by documenting the incident until you are able to get the help that you need:
- List all witnesses present at the scene, including all law enforcement officers.
- Have someone photograph your injuries immediately.
- Request immediate medical attention.
- Request a written medical opinion as to the extent of your injuries.
- Seek counseling to help you begin to work through the emotional and psychological devastation that you experience.
When you want justice, you want Taylor & Ring
If you or a loved one has been brutally victimized by members of a law enforcement agency, speak with a highly skilled police brutality attorney who can advise you of each potential claim you may have and guide you in the right direction for your particular situation. Taylor & Ring will approach your case with the tenacity and respect that you deserve so that you can begin to heal and regain your belief that there is justice for all. Call us today at 310-776-6390 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation with one of our San Francisco police brutality and misconduct attorneys.