Police Brutality or Excessive Force Cases by the Police
To bring a lawsuit against the police for excessive force, police brutality or death caused by a police officer, the plaintiff, meaning the “victim” or victim’s family has the initial burden to prove that the police violated victim’s constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 1983. Essentially, this means whatever the officer did to the victim or plaintiff, under “color of authority” (while working) was excessive and not reasonable under the circumstances. This burden is based on a “preponderance of evidence,” which simply means it was more likely than not, a very loose standard for a plaintiff to cross this hurdle.
Generally, law enforcement has a qualified immunity against a lawsuit, unless the actions of the officer were objectively wrong under the circumstances as compared to other officers. Because this area of law is very complicated, it is suggested that you immediately align yourself with an attorney that is ready, willing and able to listen and take on your case. Your civil rights must be handled in a very specific way when you have been the victim of excessive force.