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Excessive Force

Alexandria Excessive Force Attorney

Though for the past several years there has been a growing conversation regarding police officers’ use of unreasonable and excessive force against civilians, misconduct continues to be a real problem.  Fortunately, you may have options for recovery in the event that you are harmed by a police officer.

If you have been apprehended by, arrested, or otherwise were engaged with a law enforcement officer and were subsequently injured due to excessive force, then the state of Louisiana may give you a right of action for damages to compensate you for the losses suffered.

What is excessive force?… Excessive force is the application of force that is unnecessary and unreasonable given the circumstances surrounding the case at-issue. 

Let’s take a closer look at how an excessive force claim works.

Can You Sue Police for Excessive Force?

Yes. Many people, including some attorneys, are misinformed and believe you cannot sue the police. That’s not true. If your rights have been violated due to police misconduct or excessive force, you may be able to seek legal action against the responsible parties and recover compensation for your damages.

Additionally, federal civil rights laws allow victims of police misconduct to sue under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

In some instances, officers do not follow proper procedure, and in such cases, their violation of standard operating procedures may constitute negligence.

For example, if a police officer uses a taser gun on you after putting you in handcuffs and subduing you, then such behavior may not only be clearly unreasonable given the circumstances, but is likely in violation of their standard operating procedures.  Depending on the facts of the case, such violation could give rise to separate claim against the police department.

This behavior can sometimes be deadly or cause physical and mental harm to victims of excessive force. The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel seeks justice for those who have been injured or killed due to police misconduct. We handle cases involving excessive force including, but not limited to:

  • Wrongful Death
  • Police Brutality
  • Excessive Force
  • Unlawful Shooting
  • Unlawful Use of a Taser Gun or Stun Gun
  • Denial of medical treatment or medication to individuals in police custody
  • Injuries resulting from a police chase
  • Improper restraints
  • Sexual assault while in custody

Understanding Your Rights

Your Right to Fair Treatment from Law Enforcement – The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

The Fourth Amendment states that “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Your Right to Sue the Government – The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The right to petition the government for redress of grievances includes a right to file suit in a court of law.

Evidence We Gather to Strengthen Your Case
– Accessing Public Records

In Louisiana, the constitution recognizes a right of access to government documents.  As you begin to litigate your excessive force claim, you may be able to request police documentation that establishes the narrative of what really happened, and that favors your recollection of events.

Advances in technology with police-worn body cameras, police car dash camera footage, and everyday citizens’ use of cameras on their smart phones have shed a light on some extreme instances of police use of excessive force, including excessive use of a taser gun and unjustified police shootings.

Police misconduct and officer-involved shootings have become the subject of national headlines, including cases in Central Louisiana. One in particular resulted in the November 2015 shooting death of a six-year-old boy, Jeremy Mardis who was shot and killed by African-American law enforcement officers in Marksville, Louisiana. Another case involving police brutality that made national headlines centered around a handcuffed 21-year-old black man who died after being shocked nine times by a white police officer in Winnfield, Louisiana. In November 2018, Tanisha White – who is an African-American military veteran – was the victim of excessive force after she was tased by a Winnfield police officer in the eye. The use of excessive force in this instance resulted in Tanisha White losing her right eye.

Each case mentioned above is an example of excessive force and is unique in its own right. Variables of race, age and gender are present in each case. However, if body cameras and police dash cameras capture video of the incident, the victim’s attorney should retrieve the footage as it could provide enough evidence to override any prejudices or discrepancies that may otherwise exist in any of these cases.

If the police officer was wearing a body camera at the time that they used excessive force, you or your attorney may request footage to support your claim and seek legal action against the responsible parties.

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Alexandria Excessive Force Attorney

The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel is a personal injury firm located in Alexandria and representing injured plaintiffs throughout the state of Louisiana (as well as in-and-around the Atlanta metro area).

We have extensive experience litigating claims on behalf of those who have suffered harm in a variety of complex scenarios, including those that involve a law enforcement officer who has used excessive force, and are willing and able to take such a case to trial if necessary.  Our relentless approach to legal advocacy ensures that our clients’ interests are properly represented at every stage of the dispute process, from early settlement negotiations to trial litigation.

Ready to speak to a skilled Alexandria excessive force attorney about your excessive force claims?  Call (318) 445-2121 or send us a message online  to schedule a free and confidential consultation.