Examples Of Police Abusing Power

examples of police abusing power

4 Critical Examples of Police Abusing Power 

If you are interested in learning examples of police abusing power, stay tuned. We are going to talk about some situations that police have abused their power in the past and ways that police officers could abuse their power. Let us dig into this topic! 

PRO TIP: There are many benefits of hiring a lawyer if you feel you are victim of a police abuse of power. So don’t be shy about reaching out to a criminal law firm near you for help!

Common Police Abuse Of Power Examples

EXAMPLE 1: Excessive Force 

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There are certain instances where police officers have been found guilty or put on trial for the use of excessive force. You may be asking, what constitutes as excessive force? Well, This is going to be when a police officer or any officer uses more amount of force than what is needed during an arrest or call. 

When police use force, they are supposed to use only a necessary amount to stop an incident from happening, stop a suspect/perpetrator, or protect themselves. However, there are times when an officer abuses their power and use excessive force. Here are a few examples of excessive force. 

  1. An officer is aggressive or pushing when the perpetrator is not resisting and is following orders. 
  2. An officer has hit or laid hands on a perpetrator when they are not resisting. 
  3. An officer hitting a handcuffed suspect. 
  4. Using their flashlight to hit someone when they are not resisting or showing dangerous signs. 
  5. Using their tools unnecessarily. This includes tasers, mace, and their other tools. 
  6. Using their handgun. This is a deadly option and a police officer only has a gun for very extreme situations. 

Keep in mind that there are times that an officer has to use force. Here are a few instances where force may be needed. 

  1. When there is an arrest made and the perpetrator is resisting or trying to get away. 
  2. The perpetrator is trying to escape with a weapon that could be deadly. 
  3. The perpetrator has threatened the lives of other people. 
  4. The perpetrator has committed a crime that has caused serious injury to another person or an officer. 

EXAMPLE 2: Turning Off Body Cameras 

There are many benefits to having a body camera on a police officer. These cameras can improve the accountability of an officer. They will also help reduce the effects of police brutality or abuse of power. However, this is not always the case. 

Body cameras are pretty expensive. This means that not all departments can afford them. Plus, sometimes, they can be unreliable. If there is a poor on-off button, this could cause issues within the department. 

Not to mention, there are some cases where body cameras are deliberately turned off. This makes it difficult to prove innocence or guilt when there is no video evidence, especially if the officer is in question. 

There are many instances where the body camera has “malfunctioned” when an officer is accused of using excessive force. It is in these cases that an officer has turned off their body camera so that they cannot be proven guilty on the spot. It is these officers who have long trials and investigations to prove innocence or guilt. Plus, they may also have a trial to determine if they deliberately turned off the camera or if it did, in fact, malfunction. 

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EXAMPLE 3: Lying About Arrests 

There are officers that will lie about the arrest. This is especially true in cases where the body camera is not present, turned off, or malfunctioning. When officers have this, they may lie and say that the perpetrator was using force, resisting, or other means. 

At this point, it is the word of the officer against the word of the perpetrator. These investigations will take a deep investigation to get to the bottom of the issue. They are going to look at all footage necessary to get to the bottom of it. However, in most cases like this, an officer will likely be charged with excessive force.

Keep in mind that the bodycam on an officer does malfunction or not work. There are a few instances where the camera may malfunction including:

  • During a struggle, the camera may be bumped/damaged. 
  • The camera may simply malfunction on its own. 
  • The officer forgot to turn it on. (Generally, this occurs when they are implementing new devices.) 
  • The camera battery dies. 
  • The camera can only store a set amount of data. 

EXAMPLE 4: Warrantless Arrests/Searches 

There are police officers who abuse their power and conduct searches and make arrests without a warrant. In such cases and with many drug crimes, it’s possible to have your case dismissed in such scenarios.

Police are not supposed to do this, however, there are many that will for various reasons. It is for these reasons that we have a few examples of why a police officer may search or arrest you without a warrant. 

  1. A police officer may conduct a search of your vehicle or home and confiscate items. These items could include drugs, money, etc. However, they are not allowed to do this without a warrant. These police officers may end up using whatever was taken from the home. 
  2. There have been very few select encounters where a police officer will force someone to have sexual interactions with them. The officer will search your car or home and place you under arrest. It is during this time that the officer will give the perpetrator the ultimatum of having sexual relations with them or get a ticket/jail. 
  3. Lastly, a police officer may simply do this for fraud or theft reasons. In this instance, a police officer may search your vehicle or home in order to steal an identity or to gain money/valuable items. These items can be sold or traded for other items. Keep in mind, when searching, a police officer will have access to personal information. This is how identity or fraud can happen. 
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Conclusion: Examples Of Police Abuse Of Power

Generally, these are not things that someone would have to worry about. However, there are police officers who abuse power for their own good. Keep in mind that most of the police officers are going to be law-abiding citizens and keep the community safe. That is their job and many officers take pride in their job. However, just like with anything else, there are a select few who abuse their power for their own good.

If you feel you have been victim to a police abuse of power situation, you need to hire a criminal defense attorney. Law firms such as Carl Barkemeyer, Criminal Defense Attorney of Baton Rouge Louisiana deal with such situations and are able to identify when a criminal arrest was not done legally. Carl Barkemeyer, Criminal Defense Attorney has a variety of practice areas and can help you through situations such as this.

In situations where a person has been arrested and has fallen victim to a police abuse of power, it’s crucial to hire an attorney rather than opt fo self representation. Such unfortunate cases can only be uncovered and address with the help of an attorney.

We hope you enjoyed this article about examples of police abusing power.