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What are common forms of police misconduct?

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2024 | Police Brutality

Police officers have a crucial responsibility to serve and protect civilians from harm. Unfortunately, some officers fail in their duties and even become a source of danger to people.

Civilians should know that officers always have options to neutralize threats competently and lawfully. To help combat police misconduct, we outline its most common forms in this short blog.

Abuse of power by police

Physical assault includes the use of excessive force during an arrest. It is also common in prisons, where law enforcers must protect others from harm and maintain order. However, instead of fulfilling this duty, some correctional officers use physical force to punish or retaliate against an inmate.

Another common form of abuse of power among law enforcers is sexual misconduct. This offense involves engaging in nonconsensual sexual contact with people under police custody. Sexual assault, forced sexual contact and coercion are also common examples of this misconduct.

Coercion is not limited to the use of actual violence against the victim. In some cases, it can also involve threats, such as bringing false charges to the victim or scaring them with unjust penalties.

Today, officials from the Department of Justice have investigated patrol officers, wardens, federal and state probation officers, and corrections officers for this offense.

Ignoring the risk of serious harm to people in their custody is another violation some law enforcers commit. For example, a correction officer cannot deliberately ignore a risk of harm to an inmate who other inmates or police officers may assault. Failing to take measures to stop the potential assault is deliberate indifference, which is a form of misconduct.

Combating police misconduct

It is essential to report any unethical behavior by a law enforcement officer. If you or a loved one experienced excessive force or deliberate indifference from an officer who has a duty to keep you safe, consider talking to an attorney.