Civil Rights Attorney Medford OR
There has been an incredible amount of media coverage about civil rights violations and police brutality in Oregon and states across the country. The role of law enforcement is to protect and serve. While the majority of law enforcement are good officers and follow the laws, there are officers who have no business being in law enforcement. These officers abuse their positions of power, acting out in ways that are illegal and violate citizens’ rights. If you had an encounter with police and feel your rights were violated, contact Andersen, Morse, & Linthorst to speak with a civil rights attorney Medford OR clients recommend.
How Do Police Violate Civil Rights of Citizens?
There a number of ways that officers violated the civil rights of citizens and/or commit misconduct. Some of the more common include:
- Illegal search and/or seizure of property
- Racial profiling
- Unjustified stop and frisk
- False arrest
- False imprisonment
- Lodging unfounded criminal charges
- Arresting a citizen who asks for the officer’s badge number
There are also a number of common types of incidents of police brutality that each police brutality lawyer Medford OR families trust has handled. These include:
- Beating a citizen after a pursuit
- Using a chokehold
- Using excessive force in a situation
- Shooting a suspect in an unwarranted show of force
The goal of civil rights laws is to allow the police to uphold the law while also providing citizens’ individual rights protection from the police. When an individual has suffered victimization by a police officer’s misconduct, they should contact a civil rights attorney to find out what legal recourse they may have against that officer and against the department he or she works for. The victim may be entitled to financial compensation for the injuries they have suffered
Under “normal” circumstances, a police officer is protected from citizen lawsuits targeting their professional conduct if that officer’s conduct is consistent with lawful and accepted practices of law enforcement. For example, let’s say a citizen was driving their vehicle through a suburban neighborhood, traveling at 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. He is stopped by a police officer. As the officer writes up the ticket, the driver becomes belligerent and angry about the situation and tries to get out of the vehicle, even though the officer repeatedly advises the driver to stay in the vehicle, the driver refuses, the situation escalates, resulting in the officer putting handcuffs on the driver and arresting him. All of the officer’s actions were by-the-book and the driver’s civil rights were never violated.
Now let’s look at a different situation. A driver is traveling through a suburban neighborhood, operating at the legal speed limit. A police officer stops the vehicle, even though the driver had not violated any traffic laws. The driver is a person of color. He is very cooperative, answering all the officer’s questions. The officer refuses to tell the driver why he pulled him over and when the driver politely asks again, the officer becomes angry and orders the driver out of the vehicle. The driver again asks the officer why and at this point, the officer becomes angry and pulls the driver out of the vehicle and pushes him down to the ground.
There were a number of instances in the second example where the driver’s civil rights were violated, beginning with the traffic stop itself. Anyone who has had this type of experience should contact Andersen, Morse, & Linthorst and schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Medford OR civil rights attorney Medford OR.