Often, many in America have an idealized, romanticized Andy-Griffith-in-Mayberry image of police officers. While this image tends to hold true for many interactions with police officers, there is an altogether different reality for some.
Over the past decade, the New York Police Department (NYPD), the largest police department in the United States, has paid out nearly $1 billion to resolve claims against the department and its officers – it should be noted that a substantial amount of the payouts have gone to resolve police brutality and misconduct cases. This large payout is the unfortunate face of a sad, and sometimes tragic, issue which is not contained solely within the bounds of the New York City limits.
The altercation between police and a few players from the Pace University football team should serve as a reminder that police brutality can occur anywhere and to anyone.
The Police’s Pace University Tragedy
A vehicle, containing Pace University football players, was shot at for allegedly driving into two officers while pulling out of a fire lane. The driver, after being told to stop according to witnesses, continued moving. As the vehicle pulled out, officers fired into the vehicle. One of the passengers was arrested and threatened to be shot while a gun was poked into his ribs after he begged officers to allow him to perform CPR on his friend, who lie dying on the sidewalk after being shot by the police. Officers also Tasered and arrested two other football players involved.
It is understood that police perform a difficult and dangerous job, and are often the on the receiving end of taunts. These, however, are not excuses for an officer to take out his or her frustrations on an unwitting person, guilty or not.
When Police Misconduct Occurs
If you or a loved one has been victimized by police brutality at the hands of an over-zealous police officer it is vitally important to protect your rights. In police misconduct cases it is important to seek the guidance of a personal injury attorney who has experience with police brutality cases.