Police Excessive Force Can Give Rise to Civil Injury Lawsuits

The news has brought us a lot of sad stories about violent interactions between police officers and the general public. Like any story, it’s usually the most violent, newsworthy cases that get our attention. But a series of other, smaller, civil lawsuits in Maryland involving officers have also been occurring with less media coverage, and these incidents illustrate the rights that people may have civilly against excessive police force.

Cases Involving Excessive Police Force

A man recently settled a lawsuit in which he alleged that he was violently handcuffed during a wrongful arrest. The man asserted that as a relative was being arrested, he was removing the relative’s dirt bike.

The officer on scene stated that the man was resisting her orders to stay back, and that he was pushing to get closer to his relative. When the man was arrested, it incited a larger scene and an unruly crowd. The man and his relative were arrested and taken away.

He was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, but the charges were dropped. The man also ended up needing surgery, allegedly due to how he was treated by the officers at the scene.

The man eventually settled his lawsuit, including a provision that the events of the arrest remain confidential.

In another incident in September, a woman was arrested for allegedly abusing officers who were called to her home to investigate a crime. When a crime technician arrived, the woman became very aggressive, leading the technician to call for police backup.

When the police arrived, he walked right past the female occupant of the house to make sure the technician was okay, which offended the woman. The incident became more heated, additional officers were called, and the woman was eventually tasered by police inside the apartment.

The woman was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, but the charges were eventually dropped, and a lawsuit filed by her against the officers was settled out of court.

And in yet another situation, a man became violent with officers that had arrived at his apartment to help his girlfriend remove her belongings pursuant to a restraining order. The man was sprayed with mace, and had injuries to his teeth and face.

A lawsuit he filed against the police for excessive force and wrongful arrest was eventually settled out of court.

Excessive Force Cases Can Be Fact-Intensive

It may well be that some of these individuals crossed the line when dealing with police officers. Certainly, officers have a right to do their job without interference or violence, and are entitled to use reasonable force in subduing any threats.

But there is also a line that officers must not cross, and using force in excess of what is necessary can lead to civil liability.

Excessive force cases are delicate, intensively fact-based cases, but ones that can be brought if someone feels their civil rights have been violated by the use of overly excessive force.

If you’re injured in an altercation with police or any other individual, you want attorneys that understand your rights and can get all the facts. Contact the injury attorneys of Brassel, Alexander & Rice, LLC today for a consultation to discuss your case.