Over the last few years, the country has been shaken by multiple incidents of police misconduct. From the very public police shootings to the beatings that seem unprovoked, law enforcement has been under fire for many of their tactics. Entire movements have been spawned and most major departments have adapted their policies and training. We have also seen body cameras implemented in many places.
Unfortunately, the process for filing complaints against officers in California does not favor those who make the complaint. Over the last decade, there have been over 200,000 complaints lodged against California police officers and they cover a wide range of topics.
- Excessive use of force
- Improper use of force
- Police Shootings
- Planting evidence
- False testimony
Out of the complaints, only 8.4 percent were upheld in favor of the people who filed the complaint. Over 90 percent were simply thrown out.
The worst part is, thanks to California law, most complainants are not allowed to know the status of any investigation. They are simply told that their complaint was not found to be true.
The Legislature is currently working on a bill that would open up these internal investigations, but it has not been signed.
Time To Stop
As we mentioned, there has been a movement towards more transparency in law enforcement. It is not that there is more police brutality than before, it is just that we now have more evidence. Everyone has the ability to record an incident on their devices. It is not common to see dozens of people recording police stops.
It is hard to deny something that so many people catch on camera.
We think that California will eventually make the complaint process more open. They really have no choice. Even then, police officers still sometimes use more force than necessary and cause injuries.
In the worst cases, they shoot when they have no reason so, something we are seeing in a Chicago case right now. There, a police officer fired 16 shot into a man who was on the ground and seemed to no longer be a threat. In the original report, officers said the man was wielding a knife and was threatening officers. Camera footage showed a completely different story, but it took over a year for the video to be released.
What To Do
If you have experienced an excessive force from a police officer, you need to consider seeking legal assistance. As you can see from our story, simply filing a complaint against an officer or department is not enough. They probably will not even look in depth at the facts.
When you contact JML Law, they will have no choice but to take you seriously. We will be your advocate and ensure that your claim is heard and handled appropriately. The days of pushing brutality complaints under the caret need to end. When you need a police misconduct attorney in Los Angeles, you can contact us by clicking here or calling us at 818-610-8800 for a free consultation.