Rochester Police Brutality Attorneys

Amplifying the Voice of Police Brutality Victims

Watching the news in recent months and years inevitably shows a headline about police using excessive force to restrain a criminal suspect, sometimes to the point of killing the suspect before they are ever given a fair chance in the criminal justice system to speak for themselves. Right here in Rochester, New York, Daniel Prude was suffocated to the point of brain death by police in March 2020 after they put a controversial spit hood over his head and pressed him into the asphalt for minutes. People everywhere are demanding that police brutality comes to an end and that police officers who violate their duty to protect and serve are arrested, charged, and tried in court like any other criminal offender.

At The Russell Friedman Law Group, LLP, we hope to do our part in preserving the honesty, balance, and effectiveness of the criminal justice system by providing tenacious representation to people who have been victimized by police brutality and now want to file a civil claim in pursuit of justice, closure, and fair compensation. Our Rochester police misconduct lawyers know your rights, hear your plight, and show our support for the people in our community who we consider to be great neighbors and better friends. If you want to know more about what you can do after being abused by police bad actors, or if you lost a loved one to police brutality, then please call our law firm at (855) 465-4622 at your first opportunity.

Our law firm can work on claims filed against:

  • Rochester Police Department
  • Monroe County Sheriff’s Department
  • Other neighboring police departments
  • Law enforcement agencies throughout the Western Tier

We offer free and confidential case evaluations for clients inquiring about police brutality claims and lawsuits.

Different Forms of Police Misconduct & Brutality

Police officers can carry out various forms of brutality and misconduct, such as:

  • Civil asset forfeiture: Police can take a suspect’s property if they have reason to believe it is related to a crime. Civil asset forfeiture can be abused, though, if property is taken without due cause and for the officer’s own gain.
  • Excessive force: All encounters with criminal suspects need to be handled carefully, and force must only be used when necessary to restrain a potentially dangerous suspect. Excessive force occurs when police violence is used without provocation, or when force is justified but not to the degree exercised.
  • False arrest: To demean, belittle, or demoralize someone, police officers may commit false arrests, which is essentially arresting and detaining a person without ever explaining why.
  • Illegal search and seizure: You have the right to your privacy, which applies to your body and your property. To conduct a search and seizure, police must go through an approved legal process. Yet this process is often intentionally set aside by police bad actors.
  • Malicious prosecution: When someone has been charged with a crime and prosecuted despite there being insufficient evidence to justify the charges, it is called malicious prosecution. The goal of malicious prosecution is often not to convict – since the likelihood of conviction without convincing evidence is low – but instead to destroy the reputation of the defendant by smearing their criminal record with an arrest and charges that go to trial.
  • Racial profiling: Detaining, arresting, or otherwise harassing people based on their race is one of the more common forms of police misconduct, which is called racial profiling.
  • Sexual assault: There are many stories of criminal suspects being sexually assaulted or abused while in police custody. In 2020, during anti-police brutality protests, many protestors who were detained complained of being groped under the guise of a “pat down” for weapons.
  • Unlawful imprisonment: Anyone accused of a criminal violation must be charged within a reasonable amount of time, sometimes just a few hours. If they are not, then they must be released. Unlawful imprisonment occurs when someone is arrested and kept in jail without being charged.
  • Wrongful shootings: There is no deadlier form of police brutality than wrongful shooting. Police officers must only draw and discharge their weapon as a last resort and when their life or that of another person is in immediate danger due to a criminal suspect’s actions. Despite this expectation of duty, many police officers in recent years have been accused of using their weapon as a first resort, with many fatal police shootings involving a suspect who was shot in the back and without a weapon in their hand.

What is Qualified Immunity?

Police officers are generally covered by an umbrella law called “qualified immunity.” This controversial doctrine strips personal liability from a police officer who is accused of violating a constitutional right unless they acted in a way that violated a “clearly established” law. The definition of a “clearly established” law is what gives qualified immunity so much power, an amount of power that many people have called unjustified and unlawful.

Again and again, qualified immunity has been interpreted as being capable of protecting a police officer and the department that employs them from criminal and civil liability if the officer violated someone’s rights but not in a way that exactly matched a previous, on-record incident. For example, imagine a Rochester police officer uses a stun gun several times on a criminal suspect who is holding a plastic toy baseball bat. A court could find the overuse of the stun gun “justified” if there is no prior decision or incident that already specifically ruled that stun gun use on a suspect with a plastic toy baseball bat in Rochester constituted police brutality.

Due to the immense strength of and high evidential bar set by qualified immunity, it is crucial that you pursue your police brutality claim with the counsel of an experienced police brutality attorney.

Your Rights Mean Something – Fight for Them!

Our Rochester police brutality lawyers of The Russell Friedman Law Group, LLP are always standing by and at-the-ready to empower our neighbors and community members who have been wrongfully abused by a police officer who went irresponsibly outside their duties owed to all peoples. Whether you were wrongfully arrested, racially profiled, beaten while already in custody, and so forth, we can help you understand and uphold your civil rights. As local Rochester residents ourselves, we can stand with you after your loved one was killed by the excessive force of a police officer or officers. Together, we can honor their name by demanding justice.

We know that no amount of compensation can undo the harm you have suffered at the hands of police bad actors. Yet it is important to realize that you can find financial stability through a civil claim, and that important legal reforms often come only after successful lawsuits that shine a spotlight on an egregious issue.

We should talk about your police brutality claim in Rochester today. Contact our firm online or dial (855) 465-4622.

Our Law Office Locations

  • Rochester, Garden City, Buffalo, and Binghamton, New York
  • Hackensack, New Jersey
  • Derry, New Hampshire