The vast majority of police officers serve honorably and with distinction. They deserve respect and appreciation. However, like all professions, there are some bad apples. Rogue cops can be extremely dangerous. For the most part, especially in major cities like Chicago, police officers know that they will not be disciplined or criminally charged even for the most outrageous conduct. This often leads to an abuse of power.
Police officers have guns and handcuffs, and the power to make an arrest and take away a person’s freedom. They have been given not only enormous responsibility, but also enormous trust. They should always act in a way that respects the trust the public has placed in them. So when the police make a false arrest or brutally beat people, it is a horrific breach of trust. This should never be tolerated.
The only way to hold police officers accountable is by bringing a civil lawsuit. Since 1996, Jackowiak Law Offices has fought the police and obtained justice for hundreds of victims of police brutality and other police misconduct. Our lawyers take great pride in working tirelessly for people whose civil rights have been violated. We have obtained numerous jury verdicts for all kinds of police misconduct and civil rights violations, and obtained millions of dollars. On many occasions we have won large jury verdicts in police misconduct cases that the defense lawyers refused to settle out of court because they mistakenly thought we had no chance of winning.
Our law firm is not anti-police. We have represented several police officers who themselves have been victims of rogue cops. We are against any abuse of power. We have no complaint with the thousands of law enforcement professionals who perform their jobs honorably and within the rules. But yes, there are some bad cops. There are too many who feel free to disregard the constitutional rights of those they are supposed to protect and serve. When they violate the Constitution, the only way to hold them accountable is through the civil justice system.
Police Brutality & Excessive Force
When police officers make an arrest, they are only allowed to use as much force as is reasonable under the circumstances. It is not the job of the police to inflict punishment, that is for the courts. But many police officers fail to understand that and use excessive force against an arrestee who is often defenseless and handcuffed.
Police brutality often arises when a person is upset about being falsely arrested and asks for an explanation. A lot of cops don’t like it when people assert their rights. When a suspect is uncooperative, dismissive or verbally indignant, some officers take it personally. They may break out the baton of the taser, or they just may brutally beat someone with their fists. That is illegal.
The Fourth Amendment: False Arrest and Illegal Search Claims
Police misconduct does not always involve a physical injury. We also bring civil rights claims for people who have been subjected to a false arrest as well as illegal searches. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution prohibits police officers from making an arrest without “probable cause.” If you were arrested without probable cause and won your criminal case, we can sue to hold the police officer responsible for violating your civil rights.
Similarly, police officers must have a proper and valid warrant or some other type of legal justification to search your home or car. Too often, however, the police perform searches with a defective warrant or no warrant at all. If this has happened to you, you should stand up for your rights. If you do nothing, you can be sure that the officer will feel free to do the same thing to other people. You can make a difference.