If you or a loved one has been the victim of police misconduct or police brutality in New Jersey, the civil rights lawyers at Eisbrouch Marsh are ready to hear your story and provide a comprehensive outline of your legal rights.
We believe that law enforcement officials who use their shield as a way to escape the confines of well-established – and constitutionally-mandated – criminal procedure laws deserve to be held accountable for their misconduct.
If you believe you are a victim of police brutality, either in New Jersey or at the hands of the NYPD, we encourage you to contact us right away at 201-342-5545. These cases involve specific and nuanced procedure laws, and the legal expertise of an experienced civil rights attorney can be critical in helping build a strong case and ensuring a fair settlement or jury award is obtained.
Police Brutality in New Jersey
The police are permitted to use reasonable force to apprehend a criminal suspect. This traditionally includes the use of handcuffs, foot pursuit, pursuit by vehicle, or even a non-lethal taser. The following list details examples of the overuse of police force, many of which have given rise to police brutality claims in New Jersey and other jurisdictions.
Examples of police misconduct in New Jersey include:
- Use of a taser or stun gun when not necessary (e.g., the suspect has already surrendered or is otherwise not fleeing)
- Choking, kicking or beating a suspect
- Abuse of power
- Sexual assault
- Unnecessary use of K-9 attack dogs
- Denial of medical care while in custody
The above-listed examples of police brutality do not represent the totality of ways in which an officer can exert too much force over a suspect. If you have questions as to whether your experience qualifies as a civil rights violation, a NJ police brutality attorney at Eisbrouch Marsh can provide a no-cost, no-obligation evaluation of your case and advise you of your legal options.
Police Misconduct Too Often Tolerated
Law enforcement systems are largely self-governed. While there is an established hierarchy and chain of command, officers are generally presumed to have acted reasonably under the circumstances – and often are not made to endure lengthy investigations or consequences. If an investigation does ensue, it is usually private and internal – with confidential results. As such, officers may begin to feel invincible or not subject to the mandate to use reasonable force in every suspect-interaction. Particularly brazen officers may begin to blatantly misuse their authority after several unchecked incidents, further perpetuating the problem.
Filing a Civil Rights Violation Lawsuit in NJ
At Eisbrouch Marsh, we work to challenge instances of police brutality in New Jersey by holding officers, precincts, supervisors, and jurisdictions responsible for the actions of unruly, overly-violent officers. Under federal law, a police brutality victim can file a lawsuit against the individual officer(s) involved in the attack, the officer’s supervisor, the entire precinct, and the overall municipality, city or state under which the precinct falls.
In New Jersey, a statute known as the Tort Claim Act works to limit personal injury allegations against state and local entities; however, this Act can be defeated upon showing that the officer was acting outside of his or her delegated duties.
In addition, federal civil rights laws expressly permit the filing a civil lawsuit against a law enforcement entity, stating, “Any person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress.”
A successful excessive force lawsuit in New Jersey can result in compensation for medical costs, lost wages, future earnings or pain and suffering. If the victim is killed as a result of police brutality, the surviving family members may be able to recover from the defendants under New York or New Jersey laws pertaining to wrongful death.
Notable Police Brutality Cases in NJ
In 2013, the Paterson Police Department settled with a female police brutality victim after video footage showed an officer grabbing the victim – who was handcuffed to a bench – by the neck and slamming her into the ground. The victim was awarded a $200,000 settlement, and the officer was “disciplined”; however, the nature of the officer’s punishment was not revealed.
In 2012, the City of Trenton approved a $55,000 settlement on behalf of a man allegedly beaten in the head after being handcuffed and subdued.
New York City police have maintained a similar string of settlements following allegations of excessive force and brutality. In 2012 alone, the NYPD paid out $735 million to settle personal injury lawsuits, including those alleging excessive force, negligence, and property damage. By comparison, the City of Los Angeles paid out $54 million in claims over the same time period.
Contact a Civil Rights Lawyer Today
If you are considering a civil rights lawsuit in New Jersey because of police misconduct, but are apprehensive of the process, we encourage you to contact the attorneys at Eisbrouch Marsh right away. We consider it our mission to empower victims of police brutality by doing everything in our power to make sure their fight for justice is not in vain.
We serve civil rights victims in Hackensack, Paramus, Bergen County, all of northern New Jersey, as well as Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Long Island.
Don’t let renegade law enforcement officers get away with an abuse of power. For more information about filing a claim of police brutality, please contact Eisbrouch Marsh at 201-342-5545 right away. With offices in Hackensack, Newark, and New York, our lawyers welcome clients from Bergen County, Essex County and all nearby areas.
- NJ.com, Trenton city council ok’s $55,000 settlement http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2012/12/trenton_council_oks_55000_sett.html
- Bloomberg.com, NYC police increases settlements, costing city $735 million, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-09-04/nyc-police-abuse-joins-pothole-settlements-costing-735-million