Police Brutality Attorney in Philadelphia and New Jersey

Defending Victims of Police Brutality

Representing Victims & Law Enforcement throughout Philadelphia & New Jersey

Did a law enforcement officer use excessive force during an interaction with you? Were you beaten, handcuffed too tight, wrongfully arrested, wrongfully searched, shot or shot at? Have you been targeted or profiled by the police? Wrongfully arrested or incarcerated? At Zeff Law Firm, our police brutality lawyers in Philadelphia, and Mount Laurel, New Jersey represent individuals mistreated by law enforcement. We know law enforcement. Attorney Gregg Zeff has represented not only victims of police brutality, but also many great cops who have been mistreated at work for standing up for civil rights. Whether you have a major problem as a member of law enforcement or with a member of law enforcement, we have the legal skill and tenacity to fight for your rights.
 
Call 856-778-9700 for a free consultation with a police brutality attorney from Zeff Law Firm.
 
 
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Police Brutality: When Police Use Excessive Force

Law enforcement officials have a difficult job and must often make instant decisions to protect their own lives and the lives of others. While these officers put their lives at risk every day to protect citizens, there are occasions when an officer uses excessive force that can result in serious injury or even death.
 
Nearly everyone in the United States has been discussing the pervasive use of excessive force by police officers in the wake of the death of George Floyd. However, excessive force is not necessarily limited to instances that result in an individual’s death. 

Police Brutality

Typically speaking, the use of deadly or excessive force is justified only under extreme conditions, as a last resort when all lesser means have failed or cannot reasonably be used. More specifically, in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, deadly or excessive force can only be used when the officer believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to either himself or another individual, and the suspect is escaping or armed. Contact the experienced police brutality lawyers  in Philadelphia at Zeff Law Firm if you believe a loved one was the victim of deadly or excessive force used by police.

Police Brutality in PA and NJ?

police officersThe amount of police brutality in Pennsylvania and New Jersey is extremely difficult to quantify. Many instances go unreported and make it impossible to know how extensive the problem truly is. Furthermore, police brutality and excessive force encompasses a wide range of circumstances that have to be evaluated on a case by case basis. Although it’s difficult to state with certainty how common police brutality is, there is still no denying that it is a prevalent and serious problem. To give an example, according to MappingPoliceViolence.org, from 2013 to 2019, 171 individuals were killed by police officers in Pennsylvania and 103 were killed in New Jersey. The police brutality lawyers in Philadelphia and Mt Laurel represent victims of police brutality in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

False Imprisonment by Police

imprisonment by police

False imprisonment occurs when someone wrongfully holds an individual in custody or against their will. False imprisonment is not only a crime, but it is also actionable civil harm for which the victim can sue for damages.

When a police officer commits false arrest, the victim must be able to show that the officer acted without authority, or acted beyond the scope of their powers. Therefore, if you are arrested based on evidence, but later it is revealed that the evidence was incorrect or that you were actually innocent of the crime committed, you probably do not have a claim for false arrest. This is because the officer made a reasonable decision based on what appeared to be accurate evidence and therefore acted within the scope of his or her powers. Alternatively, an officer cannot arrest an individual because the individual called the officer an insulting name. Here, there is no crime being committed, and therefore, any arrest stemming solely from such an incident would likely constitute a false arrest. Contact the experienced police brutality lawyers in Philadelphia and New Jersey at Zeff Law Firm if you believe you were the victim of false arrest.

 

Representation for Individual Law Enforcement Officials in PA and NJ

When a police officer fails to follow standard procedures, violates an individual’s rights, or fails to intervene when those rights are violated by another officer, it may be possible to file a claim that your rights were violated. Because every situation is different in this complex area of law, it is a good idea to get advice that is specific to your situation in a consultation with a police brutality attorney.

Our insight into law enforcement is unique because Zeff Law Firm proudly represents police officers, firefighters, correctional officers, and other law enforcement who have been subjected to harassment, discrimination, failure to promote, wrongful discipline, retaliation, First Amendment and whistleblower claims, and other wrongful employment practices. We understand all sides of law enforcement and have knowledge about how law enforcement is supposed to work to assist and protect citizens.

How do I Sue the Police for Violating Civil Rights?

If you believe an officer has used excessive force against you, contact a Philadelphia police brutality attorney at Zeff Law Firm to discuss your situation and to determine if you have a claim.  Police do not have the right to use force recklessly and must be held to the standard of the law. Zeff Law Firm will guide you through the process of suing officers who have violated your civil rights.

Common Police Brutality FAQ’s

What are some examples of Police Brutality?

Excessive force refers to force used by a police officer that exceeds what a police officer reasonably believes is necessary to either detain, arrest or interact with an individual. While it is true that a police officer may be required to use force in order to carry out his or her job duties, the officer is not permitted to use more force than is reasonably necessary to accomplish those duties.

police brutality

Some examples of excessive force include:

  • Causing unnecessary injury to an individual
  • Failing to use verbal commands before using physical force
  • Using deadly force when a non-lethal alternative is available and would be just as effective
  • Using physical force once an individual is restrained
  • Using physical force when an individual is cooperative, non-violent, or unarmed
  • Using physical force when there is no crime being committed
 

Contact the Philadelphia-area police brutality lawyers at Zeff Law Firm if you believe your encounter with police resulted in excessive force.

What is Considered Excessive Force by Police Officers?

As previously noted, police officers are granted the right to use force in certain situations in order to carry out their duties as an officer of the law. For example, if a suspect is resisting arrest, eluding officers or attempting to use a weapon or otherwise harm an officer, the use of force is permitted. However, even in these circumstances, the officer is only permitted to use only the amount of force that is reasonably necessary to carry out the arrest or investigatory stop. The use of deadly force may not be excessive in one case where a suspect is shooting at an officer, but shoving an individual in another case might be if the individual was cooperating with an investigation. If you are unsure if excessive force was used in your situation, contact the Philadelphia police brutality attorneys at Zeff Law Firm, with offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, to review your case.

What are your Civil Rights concerning Police Brutality?

We have the right to live free from the excessive use of force by law enforcement, guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which outlines the right of the people against unreasonable searches and seizures without probable cause. Police are allowed to use “reasonable” force to make the arrest, depending on the seriousness of the crime, whether the person being arrested poses an immediate threat, and whether the person being arrested is resisting arrest or trying to get away. Contact the police brutality attorneys at Zeff Law Firm if your civil rights have been violated by the police.

What Should You Do if You Are the Victim of Police Brutality?

Police officers are not above the law and unjustified acts of excessive force, or the use of deadly force should not go unpunished. If you suspect you were a victim of police brutality, or if you’ve lost a loved one due to overly aggressive law enforcement tactics, you do have legal options. Consult a police brutality attorney to discuss your legal options, such as a potential civil lawsuit against law enforcement.

How Can a Police Brutality Attorney Help?

Contact an experienced police brutality attorney if you have been the victim of excessive force or false imprisonment by law enforcement. Police brutality lawyers can help you defend your civil rights and pursue compensation. Because the police are entitled to use force if the situation warrants, a police brutality attorney can help you gather relevant evidence to prove your case and navigate a complex legal battle.

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Contact the Philadelphia-area police brutality lawyers at Zeff Law Firm if you believe your encounter with police resulted in excessive force.

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