Police Brutality Lawyer

Despite increased attention, police brutality and unnecessary force continue to be a problem across the nation. The police brutality lawyers at O’Mara Law Group make navigating your civil rights case simple and accessible.

Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by Attorney Mark O’Mara

Content last updated on: May 19, 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.

The 2020 police murder of George Floyd reignited the national conversation about police brutality, especially against people of color. Despite the outrage, police brutality has only increased, with more police killings in 2021 than any other year in recent history.

The civil rights attorneys at O’Mara Law Group have extensive experience holding Florida police departments accountable. If you or someone you know has been a victim of police brutality, call us today, as you may be entitled to compensation.

What is police brutality?

Police brutality is the use of excessive force by an officer. Despite widespread media attention, it continues to affect the most vulnerable groups in society.

  • As of the time of this being written, there have only been 10 days in 2022 that police have not killed someone.
  • Ninety-eight percent of police killings between 2013 and 2022 did not result in officers being charged with a crime.
  • Over 50 percent of police killings were during traffic stops, responses to mental health crises, or situations where the deceased was not threatening anyone with a firearm.
  • Eighty-three people killed were unarmed.
  • Black people were more likely to be killed by police, less likely to be armed, and less likely to be threatening.

Examples of Police Brutality

Police brutality includes discrimination, harassment, and other civil rights violations. If you believe you were the victim of any of the following forms of police brutality, contact an attorney today to discuss your legal options.

  • Excessive use of deadly or physical force
  • Discriminatory patterns of stops and arrests
  • Overly harsh enforcement of petty crimes
  • Unnecessary crowd control tactics
  • Harassment of the homeless, youth, racial minorities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and other marginalized groups
  • Racist, sexist, homophobic, and other derogatory verbal abuse
  • Discriminatory non-enforcement of the law, such as failure to respond quickly in low-income neighborhoods and poor investigation efforts in cases of domestic violence, rape, or hate crimes
  • Interaction with someone based solely on their race or dress rather than their criminal conduct

Excessive Force

Data cited by the University of Illinois Chicago showed that roughly “1 million civilians experience police threat of or use of force resulting in a conservative estimate of 85,000 non-fatal injuries requiring hospital treatment and 600-1000 deaths” each year in the United States.

Examples of Excessive Force

  • Unnecessary use of nightsticks, tasers, teargas, flash grenades, pepper spray, stun guns, or firearms
  • Physical violence, including punching, kicking, beating, pistol-whipping, or chokeholds
  • Intimidation tactics not limited to displaying weapons and threatening violence

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct by police officers, corrections and parole officers, judges, prosecutors, and other federal, state, and local law enforcement is a federal crime.

Type of Sexual Misconduct

  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual contact by force, the threat of force, or coercion
  • Groping, touching, and any other gratuitous sexual contact
  • Attempting to prevent the victim from reporting
  • Writing false police reports to cover up sexual misconduct

False Imprisonment

False imprisonment includes a variety of unjust actions by law enforcement.

  • Stopped without cause and not allowed to leave
  • Interrogated without probable cause
  • Incarceration without due process
  • Incarceration for a crime you did not commit

Police Brutality and Your Rights

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and a myriad of anti-discrimination and anti-harassment federal laws protect you against discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

The Fourth Amendment protects you and your property from search and seizure without probable cause. If an officer questions you, ask them if you are under arrest or in trouble. You may not lie to the police, but you don’t have to answer their questions.

If police search your vehicle anyway, it is best to cooperate. The attorneys at O’Mara Law Group will later establish that the search was unlawful, and any evidence obtained will be thrown out.

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

The Eighth Amendment protects inmates from cruel and unusual punishment.

  • Deprivation of basic human rights
  • Risk of harm
  • Withholding of serious medical attention
  • Deliberate indifference by corrections to inmate’s physical risks or medical needs
  • Inhumane conditions, including the deprivation of food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or safety

Hate Crimes

Crimes due to discrimination of race, color, religion, sex (including LGBTQ+ orientation), pregnancy, national origin, age, homeless status, handicap, and marital status are hate crimes according to the Florida Civil Rights Act.

The law is particularly hard on persons involved in hate crimes. Charges classified as hate crimes could incur damages equal to three times the damages suffered.

Hate crimes also upgrade an offense to the next classification. For example, a second-degree misdemeanor becomes a first-degree misdemeanor. A first-degree misdemeanor becomes a third-degree felony.

Can you videotape police in Florida?

It is legal in the state of Florida to openly videotape police. Law enforcement may, however, attempt to take your recording device. If this is the case, calmly tell the officer that you are aware of your rights and that you know that you are allowed to record them.

If the officer still attempts to confiscate your device and arrest you, it is best to cooperate and contact your civil rights attorney at O’Mara Law Group as soon as possible.

How much is a police brutality case worth?

Civil rights violations, such as police brutality, entitle victims to financial compensation.

While monetary remedies will vary from case to case, the U.S. government and the state of Florida have both recognized the serious nature of civil rights violations and provided substantial relief.

If you have been the victim of unnecessary force by a law enforcement officer, reach out to a civil rights lawyer at O’Mara Law Group to find out what your case might be worth.

Why is O’Mara Law Group the best choice?

The experienced lawyers at O’Mara Law Group will help you get the compensation you deserve. We will work tirelessly to hold the perpetrators accountable and guide you seamlessly through the legal process.

If you have been discriminated against or injured by the police, contact us now at (407) 863-4503.

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