Police brutality is an unfortunate truth of the society we live in today. It’s important to know your rights when it comes to interactions with law enforcement, as well as what to do if you’re injured by a police officer. Here’s what you need to know.
You Have the Right to Be Silent
Informing someone being arrested of their right to remain silent is part of Miranda rights; it’s not just something heard on TV shows. Nor is it something that is meant to “gag” a person from speaking. The right to be silent is a right you want, and it’s a right you want to exercise.
You Have the Right Against Unreasonable Search and Seizure
Police officers cannot search your person or property without a warrant or probable cause. Probable cause means that they see something in plain view, are told something, or otherwise have reason to believe that a crime was committed. Without a warrant or probable cause, law enforcement officials have no right to search you or seize your property. While many of them still do, this is something that can be argued in court if no warrant or probable cause existed.
You Have the Right to Free Speech
While you have the right to remain silent and it is almost always in your best interest to do so, you also have the right to free speech. Police officers cannot arrest you, nor can they charge you with a crime based solely on something you said.
You Have Rights Against Police Misconduct
You have the right not to be imprisoned falsely or falsely arrested, you have rights against malicious prosecution, and you have the right to be protected from the use of unreasonable or excessive force. Police officers, by law, cannot arrest you without charges or imprison you falsely. They also must not harm you beyond what is necessary to detain you.
When to Contact an Attorney After Being Injured by Police
Although you have many rights when dealing with police– much more than what is listed above — law enforcement officers often still violate these rights in the course of their jobs. They may conduct an unreasonable search, seize property as evidence that they did not have the right to, or even use unreasonable force on you beyond what was necessary given the situation.
If you or a loved one are a victim of police brutality, don’t hesitate to contact Brooklyn civil rights lawyers Schwartz & Krysinski, LLP at (718) 643-9333.