Society relies on the police to serve and protect their communities. However, Charleston communities and even prisons within the South Carolina Department of Corrections are no strangers to police brutality, including the denial of medical care for inmates or improper shootings due to lack of training.
Unfortunately, law enforcement offices often violate their own policies when it comes using to excessive and deadly force, but a qualified personal injury attorney could be an ally in the face of such mistreatment. A Charleston police brutality lawyer could help those who have suffered from excessive force to seek damages from the agencies and individuals responsible for causing that harm.
Defining Police Brutality in Charleston
Police brutality involves the police or other law enforcement officers using unnecessary or excessive force when interacting with civilians or prison inmates. Physical brutality such as unwarranted use of pepper spray, firearms, and tear gas are the most obvious forms that this kind of action takes.
However, failure to provide protection or medical care to prison inmates, false arrests, racial profiling, sexual abuse, psychological intimidation, and the improper use of tasers can also qualify as police brutality. Anyone unsure if they have experienced this type of infringement on their rights could consult with a knowledgeable Charleston police brutality attorney for clarification.
As part of the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S. Code §1983—also known simply as Section 1983—allows people to file a lawsuit against the government if their civil rights were violated. This statute may be applicable when someone acting in a state or local law enforcement role does something to deprive someone else of their rights under the United States Constitution or federal statutes.
Compensable Damages Caused by Police Brutality
Individuals who experience police brutality in Charleston should be aware of their right to seek damages for their injuries and the time that they have to do it. Under South Carolina Code §15-3-530, plaintiffs in a police brutality case must file a claim within three years from the date of the incident. If they do not adhere to this filing deadline, it is almost certain that their case would not be heard by the court.
Damages represent the ways that a plaintiff’s life has been inconvenienced or changed for the worse as a direct result of their injuries stemming from the police brutality incident. In a civil police brutality lawsuit, plaintiffs are asking the court to grant them financial relief from these damages. While damages are different between each case, common damages plaintiffs could ask for with the assistance of their police brutality lawyer in Charleston may include:
- Ruined reputation
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
Call a Charleston Police Brutality Attorney Today
When police officers use more force than is necessary for a situation, they put suspects, criminals, themselves, and even innocent bystanders in danger. This kind of behavior is far removed from the duty to protect and serve the public that they swore—and are paid—to perform.
If your civil rights were violated by a member of law enforcement, call a Charleston police brutality lawyer. Get your case started with a consultation today and find out how you could pursue compensation for your damages.