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How Can I File a Police Brutality Lawsuit Against the NYPD?

Brutality by police is the use of unnecessary, excessive force by police officers when interacting with civilians. This can include physical force, verbal abuse, and sexual assault, among others. After an interaction with the police leaves you injured, it is natural to want to hold the responsible officer accountable. One way to do this is to file a lawsuit against the police department. In order to file a lawsuit against the NYPD for brutality, you will need to show that the officer used excessive force and that this resulted in your injuries.

Federal and State Laws Governing NYPD Brutality

Today, there are federal and state laws in place that prohibit brutality by law enforcers. The primary federal law is the Civil Rights Act of 1871, which makes it unlawful for any “person acting under color of law” to deprive another person of their constitutional rights. Police officers can be held liable under this law if they use excessive force against a civilian, even if the civilian is not injured.

In addition to the Civil Rights Act, there are also state laws that prohibit police brutality. In New York City, these laws include the NYPD’s own Patrol Guide, which states that officers must use only the amount of force necessary to make an arrest and protect themselves from harm.

Filing a Lawsuit Against the NYPD

Late 2021 saw the City Council pass legislation that would end NYPD ‘qualified immunity’ as a defense for New York police officers. This means that it will now be easier to file a lawsuit and win damages if you have been a victim of brutality. Whereas this ban applies to unreasonable searches and seizures, it still fails to cover violations by NYPD officers infringing against your constitutional rights such as the right to free speech or equal protection. Consequently, you can still sue the NYPD if you have been a victim, as long as you can prove that the officer used excessive force and that this resulted in your injuries. You’ll be required to file a Notice of Claim with the NYC Comptroller’s office within 90 days to file a lawsuit against the NYPD or any other City agency. The Notice of Claim is a formal document that alerts the city government that you intend to sue and provides some basic information about your case. After you file your Notice of Claim, 30 days must pass before you can file your actual lawsuit. You can expect to receive compensation for your injuries, as well as any psychological trauma you may have suffered. However, you will still need to prove that the officer used excessive force and harmed you. As such, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible, including eyewitness testimony, photos, and videos of the incident, and medical records.

Conclusion

If you’ve been a victim of the NYPD task force, it’s important to know that you have legal options available to you. You can file a lawsuit against them if you can show that the officer used excessive force and that this resulted in your injuries. While this process can be daunting, an experienced attorney is equipped to help you through it and get you the compensation you deserve.

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