Orlando Civil Rights Attorney
Compensation for civil rights violations can be substantial. No one should endure discrimination and inhumane treatment in a country that promises freedom and justice for all. The Orlando civil rights attorneys at the O’Mara Law Group will demand restitution from those who violate your civil rights.
Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by Attorney Mark O’Mara
Content last updated on: April 12, 2023
Disclaimer: The O‘Mara Law Group strives to provide the highest quality of legal representation for our clients. However, due to the volume of cases we receive, we reserve the right to select civil rights cases of national significance on a discretionary basis. We appreciate your understanding as we strive to provide the best possible service.
Civil rights form the basis of the founding of our nation and are at the core of American values. Sadly, our nation has fallen short of living up to our ideals, and American citizens and non-citizens living within our borders experience egregious violations of basic human rights every day.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports that the most common civil rights violations are racially-motivated violence and color-of-law violations. Color-of-law violations occur when public employees, such as police officers, use their positions to deprive others of their civil rights.
According to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, anyone operating in an official capacity who violates the constitutional rights of another is civilly liable to the wronged party. This law specifically addresses discriminatory and abusive treatment by public officials.
The O’Mara Law Group’s civil rights attorneys in Orlando are passionate about defending the civil rights of our clients and skilled at obtaining justice for victims of police brutality and inmate abuse.
Police Brutality Cases
According to our founder Mark O’Mara, “Law enforcement believes that on the street, they are the ultimate authority. They’re not. Quite honestly, the court system still is, and we’re there to make sure that the court system has an opportunity to determine whether or not the way the cops did what they did is right.”
In Orlando, we see a significant amount of police misconduct, as is reflected in the Orlando Police Department’s score of 39 percent from PoliceScorecard.org. This score was based on the following findings:
- Twenty-one police killings in Orlando between 2013 and 2021 revealed that black individuals were 3.1 times more likely than white people to be killed by police, and Latinx individuals were 1.2 times as likely to be killed.
- The city of Orlando received 32 complaints about police misconduct from 2016 to 2020, 42 percent of which were ruled in favor of the civilians.
- During the period from 2013 to 2021, there were 77,095 arrests, 53 percent of which were for low-level, nonviolent offenses. Only six percent of arrests were for violent crimes.
- The Orlando Police Department participated in more police shootings than 89 percent of other police departments in Florida.
- Orlando police officers used more force per arrest than 98 percent of police departments in Florida.
- Of the 249 homicides from 2013 to 2021 in Orlando, 99 remain unsolved
Orlando’s score is the eighth worst in the state.
These statistics indicate systemic bias by the Orlando Police Department against the black community. According to a Washington Post analysis, black men nationwide are:
- More likely to be stopped
- More likely to be searched, even though whites are more likely to possess contraband
- More likely to receive the death penalty
Additionally, black men frequently serve longer prison terms for the same crime.
Excessive force occurs when officers use more force than necessary to detain a suspect or diffuse a situation.
Examples of force include the following:
- Use of tasers
- Display of weapons
- Beating with a club
- Pistol whipping
- Bodyweight pins
- Rubber bullets
- Flash grenades
- Stun guns
- Pepper spray
Every suspect has the right to be treated fairly and reasonably by police officers. In the words of Orlando civil rights attorney Mark O’Mara:
“You should never be thrown down to the ground with your face on the ground unnecessarily. You should never be tased without a really good reason. You or your loved ones certainly should not be shot, as we have seen in dozens of videos now over the past decade, without really good reason.
“The use of a firearm by an officer should never occur unless it is the last clear chance. I understand that cops are being put in dangerous situations, but it is, after all, a voluntary job. If they’re going to do it, they still have to do it in a way that protects the people they work for, which is us.
“And if you’ve been injured by an officer, if you have that type of concern over whether or not you were treated properly, that is what we’re here for at O’Mara Law Group.”
The Justice Department criminally prosecutes law enforcement officers who abuse their positions by sexually assaulting individuals in their custody. This includes police officers, probation officers, corrections officers, judges, prosecutors, and other government officials.
Being in the custody and control of a sexual perpetrator is a horrendous and intimidating experience. Victims may not know how to report sexual abuse or assault and may be afraid to do so.
They may, however, tell a close friend or family member about the incident. If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual misconduct by law enforcement, we can help.
In addition to criminal prosecution, these officers and the government entities that employ them are civilly liable for the trauma and harm they cause under these circumstances.
If you are a survivor of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or rape by anyone in law enforcement, you have a team of civil rights attorneys in the O’Mara Law Group who are ready to win you the compensation and justice you need and deserve.
False imprisonment occurs when an individual is unlawfully detained against their will, such as when police officers detain individuals without probable cause. Wrongful imprisonment includes any of the following:
- Stopped without probable cause and not allowed to leave
- Brought into the police station and interrogated without probable cause
- Wrongfully incarcerated for a crime you did not commit or without due process
In the event that you are wrongfully convicted of a crime, Florida § 961.06 entitles you to:
- Monetary compensation in an amount equal to the sum of $50,000 in 2008 and adjusted for inflation, for each year you were incarcerated, not to exceed $2 million dollars.
- A tuition and fees waiver for up to 120 hours at any Florida state college, university, or career training center
- Reimbursement for fines, attorney fees, penalties, and court costs you paid in conjunction with the charges
- An immediate expungement of your criminal charges from your record
Wrongful convictions and false imprisonment account for thousands of innocent people doing time for crimes they didn’t commit.
Inmates are protected from cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. They have a right to be protected from reasonable threats — including sexual assault — and must receive medical and mental health care following any such assault while in prison.
Inmate brutality, or prison abuse, refers specifically to brutality against prison inmates — whether by guards, officers, or other inmates — and is a violation of their civil rights.
Whether you were physically or sexually assaulted, denied medical or mental health care, or neglected or mistreated in some other way, your rights are protected by law.
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. According to the U.S. Courts for the Ninth Circuit, this means the Department of Corrections is prohibited from depriving inmates of their basic human rights.
- No incarcerated person should experience the following:
- Substantial risk of harm
- Serious medical need
- Deliberate indifference by corrections to the inmate’s risk of harm or medical need
- Harm as a result of an unremedied danger or medical need
Every person who is incarcerated is entitled to humane conditions without deprivation of food, clothing, shelter, medical care or safety.
If you’re concerned about your loved one’s treatment in prison or have been abused while incarcerated, the O’Mara Law Group can help you get justice and recover substantial compensation.
You Have Rights
The power dynamics in situations where an individual’s civil rights are violated deter many victims from reporting the violations, even as they continue to adversely impact their daily lives.
However, navigating the system without advocacy is intimidating for many victims of civil rights violations. You have the right to safe and humane treatment in your encounters with law enforcement and while behind bars.
The O’Mara Law Group is prepared to stand with you and empower you to fight for your constitutional rights.
You May Be Entitled to Substantial Compensation
Every civil rights violation is a serious matter that threatens to erode the rights of all individuals. Throughout the past 30-plus years, the O’Mara Law Group has seen firsthand how biased the criminal justice system is, and we have worked vigorously to defend clients against this systemic bias.
The U.S. government and the state of Florida have recognized the serious nature of civil rights violations and provided substantial monetary remedies for victims.
If you have experienced abuse at the hands of law enforcement, prison guards, or another inmate, you may be entitled to receive significant financial compensation.
If you need a civil rights attorney in Orlando, you can rest assured that the O’Mara Law Group is on your side. Our attorneys operate with compassion and concern.
Have your rights been violated? Contact the O’Mara Law Group today.
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