How to Report Police Misconduct
Madison Personal Injury Law Firm Tackles Police Brutality and Corruption
It seems as if every time you turn on the news, there’s another video of a police officer shooting an unarmed suspect or a report of police brutality. The police are there to keep us safe, to bring criminals to justice, to protect and serve. For the most part, our law enforcement does just that, but sometimes corruption seeps into the ranks of the police department and officers begin to abuse their power.
Police misconduct is difficult to deal with and to prove. Even good cops are reluctant to turn in their colleagues out of loyalty, and of course there are those who would claim they were mistreated by police in an attempt to get out of trouble.
While not every instance police misconduct causes personal injury, our Madison personal injury law firm isn’t afraid to take on the tough cases. If you or a loved one has been harmed by an officer of the law, you need a powerful force like Warshafsky Law Firm on your side. We prepare your case for trail from the moment you choose to hire us, showing our opponents in the police department we’re ready to take them on.
Examples of Police Misconduct
First, let’s talk about what is and is not police misconduct. Police are allowed – and expected – to use force in the course of their duty. It becomes a problem when officers are more aggressive or violent than necessary. Types of police misconduct resulting in personal injury include:
- Police brutality
- Torture to force confessions
- Sexual assault
Police brutality refers to the use of excessive force or verbal or psychological intimidation. Other examples of police misconduct include dishonesty, fraud, coercion, and other abuses of authority. In cases where a shooting or other instance of police brutality ends a life, a wrongful death lawsuit may be the best way to get compensation for the death of a loved one. For other physical harm and property damage, our Wisconsin personal injury lawyers will fight for compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, psychological harm, and any other damages as a result of police misconduct.
INJURED? It IS About The Money.®
Reporting Police Officer Misconduct in Madison, Wisconsin
To improve your chances of a successful police misconduct or police brutality case, follow these steps:
1. Seek Medical Attention
If you’ve been injured or are experiencing distress or anxiety, get medical care as soon as you can and request copies of all your medical records. Any physical harm and mental health conditions may be included as damages in a civil suit against the police department or officer.
2. Write Down Everything You Remember
As soon as possible after the incident, write down every detail you can about what happened, from beginning to end. It’s essential to do this right away, before specifics of the event fade from your memory. As you’ll see in Step 4, you may not actually file the report until much later, and by then you may have forgotten important pieces of information.
If possible, include the following in your written account of the incident:
- Witnesses’ names and contact info
- Officers’ names, descriptions, badge numbers, and car numbers
- Exact quotes from you, the officer, or others involved
Your written account should contain only facts and avoid inaccuracies to maintain your credibility.
3. Talk to a Police Misconduct Lawyer
If you were arrested after the incident, you definitely need an attorney. Corrupt officers may try to get you prosecuted to damage your credibility in case you try to sue. Even if you were not arrested, a police misconduct attorney is strongly recommended.
Find a lawyer experienced in police misconduct cases. Show them your case is worthy by presenting your written account and remaining calm and organized. Since police misconduct is so difficult to prove, lawyers choose whether to take a case based on how strong your evidence is, not on the severity of the misconduct.
In a free legal consultation, our Madison personal injury attorneys will assess your case and determine whether there is enough evidence to support your claim in a civil suit. Even if we are unable to help you with your police misconduct report, we’ll point you in the right direction to file a complaint yourself and to get financial compensation.
4. File a Police Misconduct Report
If you’ve been charged with a crime or are suing the police department, wait to file the police misconduct report until after those are resolved. Filing a report too early gives the police too much information that can be used against you in court.
Find out where to file police misconduct complaints in your town or city, such as an office within the police department or a citizen review board to submit your report. If there is more than one office that accepts complaints, send your report to both.
There may be an official form required; simply transfer your written account to the form. If you have to pick up or request the form from the police office, avoid discussing your complaint with anyone.
Make copies of your report before sending it in and keep them in a safe place. Send the complaint by Certified Mail so no one can pretend they didn’t receive it. You may also want to send copies to local ACLU and NAACP chapters.
Filing a police misconduct report doesn’t ensure you’ll get a response. However, even if you never hear back, your complaint could help determine a pattern of police abuse when viewed alongside other complaints.
Free Consultation and No Fee Until You Win
If you’ve been shot, beaten up, tortured, sexually assaulted, intimidated, or otherwise harmed by a member of law enforcement, or if a loved one has been killed by a police officer, contact our personal injury lawyers. There’s absolutely no risk to you. We offer free case assessments to determine if you have a strong case for a civil suit or personal injury lawsuit.
From then on, we fully fund your case until its conclusion. We don’t collect payment until you’ve been compensated. In other words, if you don’t win, you don’t pay.
Schedule your free consultation today to get compensated for your police-related injury.