What is Police Misconduct?
Police Misconduct occurs when inappropriate actions are taken by an officer(s) in connection with their duties which violates someone's constitutional rights and/or engages in practices of discriminatory misconduct. Such misconduct can result in both the officer and the police department being subject to either civil and/or criminal penalties.
What are examples of police misconduct?
Examples of civil discriminatory misconduct include, but, are not limited to:
ØVerbal abuse/racial slurs
ØDiscriminatory traffic stops
ØUnprofessional conduct –including coercive sexual conduct
Examples of criminal police misconduct include, but, are not limited to:
ØUsing excessive force
ØMisuse of police dog, stun gun, taser
ØIntentional false arrest or fabrication of evidence
What Are Miranda Rights?
The Miranda warning/rights are part of a preventive criminal procedure that requires law enforcement to advise a suspect in custody and subject to direct questioning (or the functional equivalent) of certain constitutional rights (i.e. 5th Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination). In short, a suspect must be informed that he/she has the right to:
- Remain silent
- Have an attorney present during questioning
- Have an attorney appointed if one cannot be afforded
Can I Be Arrested without Being Read My Miranda Rights?
Yes - The police are only required to read the Miranda rights when interrogating a suspect in police custody. To arrest you, the police merely need probable cause.
What should I do if I believe that my rights were violated by the police?
- Always file a complaint first with the police department or internal affairs division.
- You can also report the misconduct to the United States Department of Justice or the United States Attorney’s office
- After filing a police complaint, you can pursue other remedies by filing a lawsuit in Court against the police officer(s) involved and their respective department.
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How do I know if my complaint was filed ?
What if no one has contacted me about my complaint?
Will someone contact me after I file my complaint ?
What happens after I file my complaint?
When does my statute of limitations run out?
Every victim of police abuse has a limited time to file their legal claim. Don't forfeit your right to sue.
Subject: State Statutory Limits, Open Records Laws
1. State Statutes of Limitations (Find Law):
Use this to ask for records you need from the police or any public agency
2. Student Press Law Center FOIA Letter Generator. Scroll down below question# 3 to "State." Enter the state, then scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Create Letter."