Police Misconduct ~ OPOLAW Injury Blog

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Police Misconduct

Many agree that there is nothing more egregious than the thought that someone who has been vested and trusted with the duty of protecting us from the hands of aggressors, becomes the aggressor himself, under the color of a badge.
Every law enforcement officer or other government official, whether federal, state, county, city, municipal, or otherwise, takes an oath of office and promises to serve and protect. Unfortunately, over the years we have witnessed such abominations as the Rodney King beating, a graphically disturbing atrocity caught on videotape, or the Nathaniel Jones beating in Cincinnati. We read or hear stories about Amidou Diallo, an unarmed man being shot forty-one times by the NYPD. We find it incomprehensible that Abner Louima, an immigrant from Haiti, was assaulted by police officers outside a Haitian nightclub in Brooklyn; handcuffed and thrown into a squad car, then beaten with radios and fists. At the police station, the officers pulled Louima’s pants down, took him into the bathroom, and sodomized the cuffed man with a wooden handle of a toilet plunger. These horrors continue. No human being should suffer as these people did, in a civilized nation of laws and government. The foundation of this country’s creation is the United States Constitution, which specifically gives every person, regardless of race, creed, color, or ethnic origin, the right to be free from certain governmental behavior. When a government official, acting under color of law, deprives a person of his/her constitutional rights, that may well give rise to legal liability on the part of that individual and potentially his/her government employer. For example, under the Fourteenth Amendment, we all have the right not to be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. The Fifth Amendment affords similar rights. Under the Fourth Amendment, we each have the right to be secure in our persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures. Under the Eighth amendment, and even if a person is a convicted incarcerated prisoner, he/she has the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. The attorneys at Owen, Patterson & Owen will represent you with compassion and aggression.

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