Security and Police Misconduct Law in California
In the last few years, shocking examples of police and security misconduct have come to light in the mainstream media. Police officers shooting unarmed suspects, security guards using a taser on a child, and officers using way too much force to subdue a "noncompliant" suspect are just a few examples. When these things occur and the officers have broken the law, the injured party is entitled to recover compensation for their injuries and damages.
In California, like most States, a police or security officer can only use that force reasonably necessary to effect an arrest or prevent the escape of a suspect. Once a subject is under control or compliant, the law does not permit an officer to use additional force or violence against that subject. In addition, when an officer (police or security) arrests someone that detention must have been valid under the law or every bit of force used to detain or apprehend the subject is unlawful. If there is no legal justification for the arrest, then all of the force used amounts to a battery on the subject. The detention itself, however brief, would be an unlawful or "false" imprisonment. These are among the common law violations committed by an officer and for which compensation to the injured party could be awarded.
In addition to common law claims such as assault, battery and false imprisonment, certain statutes give injured parties additional rights. For example, under federal law a subject who is deprived of their Constitutional rights under color of State law (by a law enforcement officer) is entitled to a number of legal remedies. Likewise, under California law where an individual's rights to be free from bodily restraint or harm or from personal insult have been violated an officer (including a security officer) may be held liable for damages.
Experienced in Security and Police Misconduct
While attending college and law school, I worked in the private security field. For more than 7 years I was employed by a retailer as a "loss prevention agent" and eventually a "loss prevention field supervisor." Over that period of time, I had occasion to make more than 500 apprehensions of suspected shoplifters and dishonest employees. Those arrests even resulted in testimony in criminal courts on more than 20 occasions. This is a level of experience that few attorneys possess.
In addition, while working in the security field I had occasion to go on a number of police "ride-alongs" to see firsthand what law enforcement work was all about. This was a nice compliment to my AA degree in Administration of Justice and the BA degree in Criminal Justice received just prior to law school.
As an attorney, I have had occasion to successfully represent a number of injured clients in police and security misconduct cases, ranging from shooting cases to false arrest. My particular favorite are those cases involving store or other private security officers.
If you believe you have been the victim of security or police misconduct, you should take the first step to receiving compensation by contacting my office for a free consultation.