The use of criminal charges to justify police brutality and other civil rights violations is on the rise. African-Americans are most frequently targeted. A top defense attorney can help you turn the tables and give you the advantage.
The best defense to bogus criminal charges being used to legitimize civil rights violations is a defense that will publicly and effectively shed light on the injustice. Few lawyers have the reputation and credibility to successfully defend a case when dishonest, unscrupulous law enforcement officers go rogue. One of the most common scenarios, when criminal charges are weaponized, is during protests and demonstrations. Tensions are high during a demonstration, and police officers can feel outnumbered or under threat. If the protest involves police misconduct or police brutality, some officers may get angry or resentful and their retaliatory actions will reflect it.
An officer who charges a person with a crime to justify their aggression or misconduct essentially weaponizes the criminal justice system. All too often, the victims of this type of injustice are minorities. Race targeted misconduct is unacceptable, and there is a strong need for lawyers and public officials who are fearless and willing to stand up and fight for justice and combat inequality and prejudice. The attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are well-known for being courageous and passionate advocates for clients in court, and for doing whatever it takes to expose police misconduct.
The Damaging Impact of Confirmation Bias on Criminal Justice
Although the vast majority of prosecutors would never knowingly turn a blind eye to an officer who has committed an assault on a member of the community, they have preconceived beliefs that make it difficult for them to see the truth. There is a psychological principle called “confirmation bias” that heavily influences law enforcement supervisors, prosecutors, and judges.
Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information that confirms or supports one’s prior personal beliefs or values. Most police officers are decent, hard-working people who honestly and faithfully serve their communities. Generally, prosecutors and judges fervently believe that police officers are ethical, moral, law-abiding, and fair. Most judges and prosecutors believe that police officers are on their governmental “team.” Because judges and prosecutors see through “blue-tinted” lenses, they are unable or unwilling to see when there are abuses of police power and civil rights violations. Because judges often feel an allegiance to police officers and a sense of comradery, their perception is jaded, and they are unable to see the injustices that so frequently permeate law enforcement activities.
Covering Up Police Misconduct
Police misconduct refers to inappropriate conduct and illegal actions taken by police officers in connection with their official duties. In Michigan, there have been multiple instances of coerced false confession, intimidation, false arrest, false imprisonment, falsification of evidence, destruction of evidence, police perjury, witness tampering, police brutality, police corruption, racial profiling, unwarranted surveillance, unwarranted searches, and unwarranted seizure of property. Police officers often share what is known in the United States as a “blue code of silence,” which means that they do not turn each other in for misconduct.
When police officers engage in misconduct, they rarely admit their misdeeds. The motivation to cover up misconduct is strongest when an officer engages in police brutality. Statistically, the most common victims of police misconduct are African American men. Police officers are permitted to use physical force when necessary in the lawful performance of their duties. What does an officer do if he crossed the line and physically harmed someone without lawful justification? The hope would be that the officer would take responsibility and admit his mistake. In reality, an officer who would break the law and assault a citizen would deflect their abuse by falsely claiming that there was a violation of the law, such as resisting arrest, or obstructing the officer from performing his duties. It is a scheme to cover up police misconduct by charging the victim with a phony crime.
Dereliction of Duty and Abuse of Power at Protests and Demonstrations
When the public takes to the streets to protest police abuses, violence, and racism, tensions can run high for the police and demonstrators. This can lead to violent clashes, property destruction, arson, assaults, and instances of police brutality and unlawful use of force. Police who are working in teams, under the stress of a highly charged protest, are looking for anything that can be a danger to them, the community, or the demonstrators. By appearing in a group, the officers can get a false sense of bravado that can result in unnecessary use of forceful tactics, or even an abuse of their power. The stress of the situation can give them tunnel vision resulting in a state of tension-filled hypersensitivity. A lack of training or discipline at times like this can result in instances of officers becoming overly aggressive and even assaulting peaceful protesters. An officer who unjustly uses force, such as hitting, pushing, pepper spraying, and shooting (rubber bullets, pepper spray bullets, or live rounds), should be prosecuted and stripped of his or her law enforcement credentials. If the public cannot trust law enforcement to be fair, honest, and unbiased, the system is broken. Holding rogue police officers accountable is the only way to restore the trust that has been lost in the criminal justice system.
How to Expose and Eliminate False Police Charges
The best way to fight police brutality, and other forms of misconduct, is to expose it unapologetically. Regardless of whether a hearing takes place before a judge or jury, a great defense attorney will call out a corrupt officer and publicly reveal his or her misconduct. The Justice System is broken when law enforcement officers and public officials get away with misconduct by manufacturing criminal charges against lawful citizens. This is especially true when the victims of the false charges have been systemically discriminated against and mistreated by the justice system for generations.
The criminal defense attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are committed to helping clients when charged by officers who have committed misconduct, violated their civil rights, or engaged in police brutality. Other lawyers, even some of the most experienced, crumble in the courtroom under the pressure of the police, prosecution, and judges. Our defense attorneys will never be intimidated in court and will faithfully and vigorously fight to protect and defend our clients, no matter what challenges await. If you need someone who will do whatever it takes to achieve the best possible result in your case, you need an attorney with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.