Do you know the Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures, including the use of excessive force by law enforcement agents? There are certain things police in the Twin Cities may and may not do when they've pulled you over in traffic, knocked on your front door, or approached you in some official capacity. The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights protects all citizens in Minnesota (and throughout the nation) from government overreach and abuse. Even if a police officer suspects you of a crime, he or she must work within the limitations of the Fourth Amendment and other Constitutional provisions during investigation, arrest, and detainment.
In order to recognize when your personal rights have been violated in some way, you must first know what your basic rights are. Some people actually take the time to read the Constitution, paying close attention to various amendments that pertain to such matters.
Police are to use gradual progression methods
Have you ever been somewhere with a group of people when some sort of problem arose? Perhaps a fight broke out or police were called to the scene because someone was drunk and being loud and obnoxious. The mere presence of police officers in such circumstances is often all it takes to rectify the situation. It would obviously be very wrong if a police officer stormed in and starting pelting people upside their heads if no one in the group posed any sort of threat at all.
All officers go through training for using the following methods of progression:
- Police can often diffuse a troublesome situation by posturing themselves in a confident manner with an air of authority.
- If needed, they might ask a particular person to do something, such as step to the side or exit a vehicle.
- Depending on the situation, an officer may determine a need to give a direct order without request.
- If someone begins acting aggressively, police may use physical force by holding, grabbing, kicking or striking with their hands to bring the situation under control.
- At times, police may have valid cause to use a spray, a K-9 unit, a baton or some other weapon, with lethal weapons such as firearms only being a last resort.
If law enforcement asks you to step out of your car, and you begin to feel intimidated, you can request assistance from a defense attorney. If the next thing you know, things have gotten out of hand and you are being pushed to the ground, hit or shot at, you may be one of many who have had their Civil Rights violated by government agents who have abused their authoritative licenses to use force. It can be very frightening to go up against a law enforcement officer in court.
Section 1983 of U.S. Code 42 allows you to file a claim against any state representative who has deprived you of your rights. Obtaining relief through a 1983 claim is often a complicated process. An experienced attorney can explain all the requirements that must be fulfilled before this type of relief is made available.