We have been advocating for victims of police misconduct for over 40 years. They have been challenging to say the least.
The death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police on May 25 has sparked protests throughout the United States and across the globe. As people from all walks of life take to the streets to proclaim that “black lives matter” one thing is clear, misconduct on the part of police is an issue for everyone including the police.
Words are nothing new, but politicians on both sides of the aisle are turning their words into action. On Tuesday, Congressional Democrats unveiled a “sweeping bill targeting police misconduct and racial bias” after kneeling for 8 minutes and 46 seconds earlier in the day to mark the exact amount of time an officer knelt on Floyd’s neck.
In the Senate, Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) – his party’s only African American senator – is heading up an effort to assemble legislation to “address an epidemic of impunity and pervasive racism in the criminal justice system”. This effort builds on the senator’s previous bipartisan work on issues of criminal justice reform.
What Happens When The Police Break The Law?
Shocking images of police misconduct – such as shoving protesters to the ground, beating protesters with batons, firing rounds of rubber bullets at groups of peaceful protesters, and arresting journalists – have resulted in additional calls for reforming the nation’s police departments.
When law enforcement officers use excessive force, make false arrests, or overreach in any way, it is more than a “bad look”; they are breaking the law and violating their oath to serve and protect. While successfully taking on police officers and their unions is still an immense challenge, it is not impossible. Police officers are not above the law and while they deserve our respect when they do their jobs, they must be held accountable when they violate the civil rights of those they are sworn to protect.
If you your rights have been violated by police misconduct while protesting or while simply going about your daily activities, seek the advice of an experienced civil rights and discrimination attorney to advise you on how the law might remedy your situation.