Many stories dominating the news cycle over the past year have hinged on an interesting trend affecting the public across the United States- the use of excessive force by the police when dealing with alleged criminals. In San Antonio, the story of Kristiana Coignard was frequently discussed in the media. Kristiana was senselessly killed by the Longview Police Department after speaking with law enforcement, seeking help. The surveillance cameras in the police station show that little was done to diffuse the situation before Kristiana was shot three times and killed. Stories like hers, and the countless others that have come to the public’s attention recently, have brought a really important question to the forefront of people’s mind- what can you do when the actions of the police result in a serious or fatal personal injury?
Your Rights After Being Harmed By Police
Police officers are here to enforce the law and to protect and serve the public in their communities. In some instances, protecting the community involves taking action against its members, but there is a limit to the amount and degree of force that a police officer can use in their handling and treatment of the public. When a police officer has acted negligently and recklessly when handling a potential suspect, especially someone accused of a non-violent crime, the public demands accountability for their actions. Thankfully, there are legal avenues that the affected or their families can use when injured or even killed as a result of police brutality.
Under the law, police must only use the amount of force that is needed at the time to stay in control of the situation at hand and protect form harm. If any additional force it used, it is seen as excessive.Examples of additional force include:
- Excessive physical violence
- Racial profiling
- Degrading strip searches
- Sexual assault
- Blackmail or coercion
After being harmed by police, make sure to take steps to protect yourself. Document your injuries with medical attention and photos, get the names of any witnesses that saw the event, and contact a personal injury attorney. A lawyer can bring a case against the city of San Antonio to recover the important compensation you will need to recover from the injuries stemming from this event, but also enact standards governing the use of force in the police department.
The attorneys at Maloney & Campolo fight for the rights of victims in San Antonio and across Bexar County. If you have been harmed, consulting with a member of our team can inform you of your rights and how you can hold responsible parties accountable, no matter who they are. Get started with a free case evaluation!