When an officer is charged with police brutality it is viewed as a serious crime. The abuse of power that is associated with an officer of the law violating his oath of office to protect and serve the public is a terrifying notion to most law abiding citizens. Police officers are entrusted with the power to remove another person’s freedom and even take their lives if they have to. This type of power can sometimes cause a person to forget that the calling that first directed them to law enforcement must not be violated at any cost. However, historically, there have been a few police officers who have proven that they are not trustworthy. It is a simple matter of numbers. People are only human. Law enforcement officers are also, only human. By sheer numbers, the more police officers are employed, the larger the chances are that one will be employed who is capable of great evil.
There is not a single police department in the world, that has not terminated a person who managed to get through the tough screening processes that are in place to eliminate those applicants who are not up to the standard of the rest of the department. Usually, they are uncovered early in the hiring process, however, occasionally one can remain hidden in a department for many years before his crimes are revealed. In 2009, a homeless man who was arrested in New York filed a police brutality case that reminded many people of the abuses that were publicized in the 1960’s. Many police departments eliminated all police dogs from their ranks in the 1970’s because of the police brutality charges that were plaguing them. Police departments attempted to distance themselves from the negative associations that mishandled police dogs had brought to the departments. In recent years, police departments have come to recognize that the benefits of having police dogs in departments far outweighs the negative connotations that they sometimes create.
In the case of the homeless man in 2009, he filed a lawsuit in which he maintained that while he was asleep in a doorway in New York, several police officers approached him with a police dog. He testified that the officers took sport in beating him and set the police dog to bite him repeatedly. The police officers that were named in the suit maintain that the man is lying. They contend that they were attacked by him and in the course of accomplishing the arrest, they used the minimum amount of force necessary to apprehend him.
The homeless man’s attorney filed a request for the production of documents in which he wanted the police department to turn over documents that had the police officers home addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers, and other personal identifiers. The man also wanted to have access to the officers medical files. He wanted to see if any of them had any medical conditions that would affect their judgment. He also requested their training and disciplinary files.
The police department objected to turning over the officer’s personnel files that contained their personal identifiers. They requested that the court issue an order to protect them from this intrusion into their personal lives. The police department maintained that the officers were in the course of their duties and as such are protected. The defendant’s council maintains that the officers were not conducting an activity that was pursuant to their positions and thus are not protected from the suit. The court determined that there were questions of fact that were best decided by a jury. Because of that fact, the request for summary judgment dismissing the suit was denied. However, all personal identifiers were ordered removed from the documents before they are delivered to the opposing council.
At Stephen Bilkis & Associates with its police brutality Lawyers, have convenient offices throughout New York and Metropolitan area. Our criminal lawyers can provide you with advice to guide you through difficult situations. Without an personal injury attorney, you could lose precious compensation to help your family.