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Police Brutality Leading to a Personal Injury

When you are pursued or apprehended by police, or if you have been detained and/or arrested, you have a right to be protected from unnecessary acts of violence by police or law enforcement officers. Under the law, police may only use reasonable force to make an arrest or stop a suspect. If you can show that police officers used a degree or level of force that was not called for under the circumstances, and that you suffered a needless injury as a result, you may be able to obtain monetary damages in a personal injury lawsuit against the police officer and/or the police department.

The Types of Conduct that Constitute Excessive Force

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the use of any force that is not reasonably necessary under the circumstances. The Supreme Court has long held that what qualifies as unreasonable force varies with the circumstances of each case, and that police must engage in a balancing test, looking at:
  • the need for an application of force.
  • whether the amount of force used was consistent with that need.
  • the seriousness of the injury inflicted.
  • whether the force was used in a good faith effort to maintain and restore discipline or order, or maliciously or sadistically for the primary or exclusive purpose of inflicting harm.

Actions That Qualify as Police Brutality

Any level of physical force, if unnecessary to affect an arrest or detention, or if used against someone already in custody, can be considered police brutality. This includes:
  • Pushing you into a police car when you are going willingly
  • Using a baton, mace, spray, taser or stun gun
  • Hitting, kicking, punching or choking
  • Use of deadly force when circumstances do not call for its use

Contact the Law Office of Metzger & Kleiner

At Metzger & Kleiner, we provide a free initial consultation. To schedule an appointment with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 215-622-2210 in Philadelphia, 610-563-2186 in the Lehigh Valley, or toll free at 800-228-1760. We take all police brutality personal injury claims on a contingency basis. We won't charge attorney fees unless we recover compensation for your losses.

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