Some police officers abuse their authority even during the course of routine interactions with members of the public.
The Texas State Police investigated an incident involving a McAllen police officer, which led to criminal charges.
Officer threatens driver during a minor car crash
The incident began when the officer in question was involved in a minor motor vehicle accident. The other car involved in the accident said that he had cut them off and caused the crash, drew a firearm on them, and made various threats. They filed a formal complaint which was investigated by the DPS division of the Texas Rangers. After an interview and a review of the situation, the 49 year old male officer from the McAllen department was eventually taken into custody and booked into the Hidalgo County Jail.
He faced charges of official oppression, tampering with evidence, filing a false police report, and making terroristic threats. Even though the officer was arrested, it appears that he may not be formally indicted due to lack of sufficient evidence. The local district attorney filed a memo to the McAllen police chief talking about the case and the lack of a formal indictment.
The officer was with the McAllen department since 1999. As of the time of the news report, he was serving a suspension without pay.
Lawsuits against the police for illegal acts
Even if an officer is not charged criminally or acquitted for misconduct and violence, it is still possible to file a civil case. There are various local and federal laws which say that any government employee or police officer cannot abuse their authority to deprive a citizen of their civil rights. Lawyers who focus on police brutality cases often utilize these laws when a client has been injured or wrongfully arrested by an officer. Police do have to follow certain protocols regarding how they interact with the public and others. These regulations restrict their ability to use force unless there is a clear threat of danger.
What is the value of a police brutality lawsuit?
In most cases, the value of a civil lawsuit is relative to the amount of harm done. In police brutality cases, this means that incidents such as unlawful beatings or shootings captured on video will likely bring large settlement agreements. However, it is best to speak to a lawyer rather than rely on general advice about an incident. A consultation is the best way to determine the value of a case.
Get help with bringing a lawsuit against a violent or unruly officer
To bring a case against any officers that engaged in illegal conduct, contact the Tijerina Law Firm. You will receive professional advice related to the process of filing a case and what to expect afterwards.