The term “police misconduct” includes any variety of illegal actions that a law enforcement offer takes against civilians in New York or anywhere else in the country. These actions often violate the victim’s Constitutional civil rights. Victims often report being intimidated and not knowing what steps to take after a misconduct incident. These guidelines should help you determine which steps to take if you have witnessed or been a victim of law enforcement misconduct.
Write down the entire incident as soon as possible.
One of the most important steps to take after you have been victimized by police misconduct is to write down everything you remember about the incident in thorough detail. You want to write these details as soon as possible after the incident occurred. The process of reporting misconduct can be stressful, and writing down what happened reduces the chances that you will forget or incorrectly remember an important detail.
When you are documenting the experience, make sure that you include the following important facts:
- Location, date and time of the misconduct
- The badge number, name and police department of the offending officers
- Names and contact information for any witnesses
Take pictures of any injuries.
While not all law officer misconduct results in injuries, many victims of misconduct do sustain injuries. Take photos of any injuries that you suffered as soon as possible.
Seek medical help if necessary.
Many types of law enforcement misconduct result in bodily harm. Incidents involving tasers, physical force or police dogs can cause serious injuries, and you should seek medical treatment immediately.
Decide how to pursue the case.
Attorneys can assist you in pursuing a civil lawsuit against the officers involved in the misconduct. If you are interested in pursuing a criminal complaint against the offending officers, an attorney may be able to help guide you through the process.