Civil rights are the basic freedoms that apply to every single American. But the system doesn’t always follow its own rules. We count on police officers to make the right choices, to defend us, and to uphold the law. Unfortunately, police officers are often too eager to use their weapons, and individuals get injured or killed. The victims or their relatives may have legal options when this happens.
Civil rights lawsuits include:
- Unlawful police shootings;
- Excessive Force;
- Wrongful death;
- Jail and prison mistreatment;
- First Amendment Violations;
- Due Process Violations.
Use of Deadly Force
In Arizona, the use of deadly physical force by law enforcement against someone else is justified only when the officer reasonably believes the use of deadly force is necessary for one of two purposes:
- Self-defense or to defend a third person from the use or imminent use of deadly physical force
- Arresting or preventing the escape of someone the officer reasonably believes:
- Committed, attempted to commit or is committing or attempting to commit a felony involving a deadly weapon or threatening to use a deadly weapon to commit a felony
- Is trying to get away by using a deadly weapon
- Based on past or present conduct, the individual in question is likely to endanger human life or inflict severe bodily injury to someone else unless the person is promptly apprehended
- Use of deadly force is necessary to lawfully suppress a riot if the person is participating in a riot using a deadly weapon
When a police officer is involved in a shooting, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond and begin a complete and thorough investigation.
When the report is complete, a thorough and impartial analysis of the report will be performed by the MCAO Officer-Involved Shooting Committee to figure out whether the officer behaved legally. The commission also sends the County Attorney a suggestion, which takes a definitive determination as to whether the shooting was legal or not. The determination is given in writing to the law enforcement officer involved, the investigating officer, and the personnel involved.
Unlike other states, Arizona does not cap the economic or non-economic compensation our Phoenix civil rights attorneys may be able to recover. This means you might be able to recover compensation for personal injury damages, which could include:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment
- Lost wages
- Lost financial support
Filing a Claim
Filing a civil rights lawsuit is an extremely complicated procedure and it can be very hard to construct a solid case. Attorneys who specialize in defending against these allegations would certainly strongly oppose any claim you make. This is why you will benefit immensely from getting on your side a civil rights lawyer in Phoenix who knows the law and how to deal with a tough defense.
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a police shooting, contact Arizona Attorney Lawyers today for a legal consultation. We are committed to holding law enforcement accountable and pursuing compensation for the damages you suffered.