Civil rights are fundamental rights and freedoms that are guaranteed by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Civil rights are the cornerstones of life in the U.S. Violation of these rights, especially by law enforcement, is an egregious overstep that should be fought aggressively in court. The consequences of allowing these misdeeds to go unnoticed can be far-reaching and give law enforcement the opportunity to continue with this behavior.
Some of our civil rights are pretty commonly known, such as the right to freedom of speech, assembly, peaceful protest, and of course, due process of the law. Protecting these freedoms guarantees that they can continue to be exercised by everyone regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or incarceration status. Here are some examples of civil rights violations commonly committed by law enforcement:
Excessive Use of Force: This is when law enforcement officers use more force than necessary to detain a suspect or control a situation. This can result in serious injuries or death and has been a major issue in cases such as the death of George Floyd in 2020 and the beating of Rodney King in 1991.
Jail and Prison Deaths: If you have a loved one who is incarcerated, whether or not they have been found guilty, the government has a responsibility to keep your loved one safe. If they pass away while in state custody, you may be able to sue the state or county for their wrongful death.
Racial Profiling: This is the practice of using a person’s race or ethnicity to decide whether to stop, search, or arrest them. Racism continues to be a massive problem in the U.S., as police disproportionately target Black and Latin American individuals. Black Americans specifically are more than three times more likely to be killed by the police than white Americans. This terrifying statistic exemplifies one of the many consequences of civil rights violations.
Unlawful Search and Seizure: This occurs when law enforcement officers search a person or their property without a warrant or without probable cause. This violates the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and has been the subject of numerous legal cases.
False Arrest: This is when a person is arrested without probable cause or without a warrant. This violates the Fourth Amendment and can result in serious harm to the person’s reputation and livelihood.
Discrimination Based on Gender, Gender Identity, or Sexual Orientation: This occurs when law enforcement officers treat people differently based on their gender or sexual orientation. This can include harassment and physical abuse and has been a major issue in cases involving the LGBTQ community.
If your civil rights have been violated, particularly during an interaction with law enforcement, you deserve aggressive representation that will fight to protect what matters most. For a consultation, call (806) 372-5711.