San Jose Police Brutality Lawyers
Police Brutality Comes In Many Forms
Arrogant abuse of power is the common denominator in the heart-breaking personal injury and wrongful death claims we have made for our clients against the police.
Our clients encountered police officers with a warrior mentality that pits police against civilians rather than fulfilling the honor to protect and serve them. The result was death and injury. There is no place for bullies and thugs with law enforcement badges, especially when dealing with people who are experiencing a crisis and in need of mental health care.
Our San Jose police brutality lawyers also have represented dedicated police officers and firefighters who, in a disaster, you would welcome to rescue you or your family and protect you from harm. The injuries they have suffered “just doing their job” are equally heartbreaking.
Why Choose Alexander Law Group, LLP as Your San Jose Police Misconduct Lawyers?
We’re not just seasoned veterans in the courtroom; we’re your unyielding advocate when you’re confronting police misconduct. At Alexander Law Group, LLP, we have consistently championed victims’ rights and secured substantial settlements — our record reveals success in our pursuit of justice.
We’re not just knowledgeable, but we are also well-acquainted with the tactics authorities and their defense teams employ to avoid responsibility. They may work to undermine your case, minimize your suffering, and expedite resolution to save face and resources. These ploys will not deter us; we’re adept at countering them with an unwavering dedication to your cause.
They aim to provide the least restitution, or none if possible. But we aim to win you the compensation necessary to rebuild your life. Police brutality can deeply impact your well-being and alter your life’s course, and we are fully aware of these ramifications.
Our attorneys work relentlessly, not just to win a case but to secure the recognition, justice, and compensation you deserve. We don’t just seek compensation for immediate losses but for the lifetime repercussions that such incidents impose on you and your family.
Choosing Alexander Law Group, LLP, means choosing lawyers who will not settle for anything less than what’s fair. Our commitment and resolve aim to uphold your rights and ensure that those who’ve wronged you are held to account. Stand with us, and let’s reclaim your dignity, peace, and future prospects together.
Understanding Types of Police Misconduct
Police misconduct takes various forms, all of which infringe on a person’s constitutional rights and violate due process. Understanding these forms is crucial to recognizing when your rights have been violated and taking steps toward seeking justice.
- Excessive Force: This constitutes any situation where law enforcement uses more physical force than necessary to subdue a civilian, resulting in unnecessary harm or injury. It’s important to note that ‘excessive’ doesn’t always mean ‘lethal.’
- Deadly Force: Deadly or lethal force includes actions by law enforcement that have a high chance of resulting in death. This could involve the use of firearms or other weapons when the situation does not warrant it.
- Use of Police Dogs: While police dogs serve a vital role in law enforcement, their inappropriate use may result in excessive physical force, leading to serious injury.
- Racial Profiling: This occurs when police officers target individuals for suspicion of a crime based on the individual’s race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin rather than on the individual’s behavior or information identifying the individual as having engaged in criminal activity.
- False Arrest: A false arrest involves a person being held in custody without probable cause or without an order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.
- Police Chokeholds: Law enforcement officers’ use of chokeholds has been a subject of significant concern. These tactics are considered a form of excessive force and are illegal in many areas due to their potential to cause severe injury or death.
- Pepper Spray: Police may use pepper spray to restrain an individual, but it becomes a matter of excessive force when used unnecessarily, causing undue harm to the individual.
- Excessive Use of Restraint: This refers to situations where officers use restraints too forcefully or longer than necessary, resulting in potential harm.
- Lack of Probable Cause: In order for an arrest to be legal, the arresting officer must have probable cause or a reasonable belief that the person has committed a crime. If this crucial element is lacking, it can lead to an unlawful arrest, infringing on an individual’s rights in the process.
Each of these forms of police misconduct directly violates the victim’s constitutional rights and endangers the trust placed in law enforcement. If you believe you have been a victim of any of these types of police misconduct, consider seeking legal representation through an experienced police misconduct lawyer to help navigate these complex matters and protect your rights.
Examples of Police Misconduct Cases in San Jose
DEATH BY PAPER BAG.
The San Jose Police Department brutally tortured and killed 44-year-old Hugh Rushin, who was hallucinating. He was firehosed in the back seat of a patrol car, and then a paper bag was taped over his nose and mouth. He suffocated and died. This article provides the details.
SHOTGUN BLAST TO THE FACE DURING AN ARREST.
Donald Coca, 45, was arrested for a traffic violation and not immediately pulling over when the California Highway Patrol lighted him. That was a mistake, but what unfolded afterward was uncalled for. As a result of extraordinary incompetence and stupidity, a San Jose Police officer attempted to handcuff Donald while balancing a 12-gauge shotgun on his shoulder. The cop kept his finger on the trigger. At point-blank range, a blast from the muzzle totally destroyed Don’s jaw, nose, and mouth. It is a miracle he survived. Here is the full story.
DEATH BY ABANDONING A MENTALLY UNWELL 26-YEAR-OLD MOTHER.
In 2013, in a display of brutal indifference, the Modesto Police Department abandoned a young woman experiencing delusions, Amanda Doe, age 26, who had made a bizarre 911 call late at night. The police responded, placed her four-year-old daughter in custody, and when the woman refused to peacefully go with the police, the MPD left.
No attempt was made to engage in the crisis intervention practices taught by MPD law enforcement officials or a suicide prevention psychologist who provides consulting services to the City of Modesto. MPD violated a major rule of public safety: never abandon at-risk persons who are in severe mental distress and who are at suicide risk. Read the full account here.
HOLDING A DRIVER AT GUNPOINT WHO RAN OVER A TRAFFIC CONE.
In 2017, Nick Buchanan was Christmas shopping at the Westfield Valley Fair Mall. Exiting the parking garage, he maneuvered around a car and toppled an orange cone. A private security guard directing traffic pulled out his gun, aimed it at Nick, and held him at gunpoint. The guard did not have a valid firearms permit, and displaying a gun in a rude, angry, or threatening manner is a violation of California Penal Code § 417. An iPhone saved the day in this case.
Commissions Study, But Nothing Changes
Public outrage, resentment, and disgust with brutal policing usually result in blue ribbon commissions investigating and reporting on necessary reforms, which are never implemented.
After outrage evaporates and crime flares, demands for more aggressive law enforcement agencies take over the public agenda.
In 1929, the Wickersham Commission issued 14 volumes detailing police corruption and the beating of suspects to extract confessions.
Similarly, the death of Rodney King, a victim of police brutality, sparked a nationwide call for substantive policy reforms. The Christopher Commission, also known as the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department, was set up in 1991, immediately following the King incident, in an effort to investigate the structure and operation of the LAPD.
One milestone outcome was the establishment of the Christopher Commission, also known as the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department. However, implementing all the recommendations hasn’t been an easy task, and some critics argue that the changes haven’t been thorough or fast enough. Year after year, police violence continues to be a national threat, causing untold damage and the loss of life.
In 2015, after a black man, Michael Brown was killed by Ferguson, Missouri police, another national task force on policing issued 116 pages of recommended changes in U.S. law enforcement.
With the 2020 deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the cycle of excessive violence at the hands of law enforcement officers will continue. Our civil rights attorneys are committed not only to ensuring that the rights of victims are upheld but also to seeking precedents for future civil rights violations in the legal sphere.
Prosecutors Play a Role in Perpetuating Police Abuse
Prosecutors should hold police departments accountable and aggressively cite and censure police officers who violate constitutional rights and physically abuse suspects, largely because the police don’t police their own.
District Attorneys hold the strongest hand in deciding which cases should be prosecuted or dismissed. They should refuse to charge cases brought by officers who repeatedly violate the rights of community members and report their reasons to the press and the public to assure full transparency. For example, Derek Chauvin, convicted of killing George Floyd, had 18 complaints filed against him. That’s why the City of Minneapolis paid a record $27 million to settle the wrongful death claims by the Floyd family. That’s the lesson.
Hold Police Accountable by Suing Them
Lawsuits based on police brutality involve both personal injury and civil rights claims. Police misconduct lawsuits demand a very experienced lawyer.
The law shields police with immunity from lawsuits under what is known as qualified immunity. That is a legal concept created by judges to protect the police from lawsuits when cops act under the color of law and claim that they believed the conduct was lawful at the time. In every case, whether the police acted reasonably and in accordance with established law is at the core of these lawsuits. It insulates police even when they are abusive and have run roughshod over constitutional rights.
When taking on a police department, you need lawyers who are highly respected in their community and have a track record of collecting millions for their clients in difficult cases.
Call our police misconduct attorneys if you have been brutalized or abused by police officers.
Alexander Law Group, LLP, attorneys are available to answer questions and share our knowledge of the law and the results of our experience. Our goal as San Jose personal injury lawyers is to make a difference for our clients.
Every day, we deal with a range of issues that most people do not encounter until after an injury or death occurs. We are committed to providing our clients and the public with information on protecting their rights. Call 888-777-1776 or contact us online to schedule a consultation to discuss how we can help you.
Alexander Law Group, LLP | San Jose Office
99 S Almaden Ave #700
San Jose, CA 95113
P: (408) 289-1776