Excessive Force Lawyer Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Philadelphia police officers and Pennsylvania law enforcement officials have a very difficult and dangerous job. They are called upon to save civilians' lives, sometimes risking their own. It is true that police officers put the safety and well being of citizens of Pennsylvania before their own health and comfort. Sometimes, however, there are occasions when police officers cross the line and exceed their legally permissible use of reasonable force to subdue a person. In some severe cases, police officers intentionally use excessive and deadly force to cause pain, serious permanent injuries and even death.
One of the examples of a police officer using excessive force is when a police officer draws a weapon inappropriately. The law allows a police officer to draw his/her weapon as an absolute last resort to stop a person. In addition, under Pennsylvania law, a police officer may not use deadly force to arrest a fleeing person. Where the suspect poses no immediate threat to the officer and no threat to others, the harm resulting from failing to apprehend him does not justify the use of deadly force to do so. Only if the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a threat of serious physical harm, either to the officer or others, the officer may use deadly force to prevent escape.
Not all interactions between an officer and a citizen give rise to a case for excessive force. Pennsylvania courts look at the totality of facts and circumstances of each case in determining whether the police used excessive force. Many instances of police officers applying force to a suspect are not considered excessive force. Thus, for example, the police did not use excessive force when the police, while executing an arrest warrant of a third person, broke down a door, tackled plaintiff, who was sitting down and not resisting, put his face in the carpet and handcuffed him. The plaintiff in that did not suffer any injuries except for soreness from the handcuffs. Further, where the police use a typical maneuver in an arrest situation, excessive force is rarely found. For example, if the police grab a person, twist him around and slam him up against a wall such that the person does not suffer any significant injuries, excessive force is unlikely to be found.
If you have been the subject of excessive force or deadly force by the police, you need an aggressive Philadelphia excessive force attorney to review the case, and prepare the case for presentation to a jury so that justice can be served. The Lassen Law Firm, Pennsylvania civil rights advocates, litigate cases of police brutality, police misconduct, excessive force, deadly force, false arrest and other civil rights violations. If you or someone you know has been the victim of police using excessive force, you may have the right to take action. The laws that apply to police excessive force and deadly force are complex and confusing and require a dedicated and experienced Philadelphia excessive force lawyer with expertise in the civil rights field. Please call the Lassen Law Firm to learn about your rights.
The Lassen Law Firm only deducts a 29% contingency fee, not the standard 45% like other firms. We serve ALL of Pennsylvania. We can sign you up over the phone and start working on your case today.
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Stewart v. Moll, 717 F.Supp.2d 454 (E.D. Pa., 2010)
Creveling v. Columbia County, 2008 WL 1826907, at *5 (M.D. Pa., Apr.22, 2008)
Authored by: Christian Lassen