Federal Judge Jack B. Weinstein recently criticized the legal doctrine regarding qualified immunity in civil rights cases. The 96-year-old judge from Brooklyn, New York, disagrees with the US Supreme Court and stated that the justices went too far in current rulings permitting the expansion of qualified immunity, which protects and shields law enforcement officials from lawsuits against their actions while working. He believes the public should retain more power in holding officers who engage in misconduct and abuse accountable for their actions. His complaint was prompted by a case where he denied immunity for four police officers in Brooklyn who allegedly assaulted a man who would not allow the officers into his residence because they did not present a warrant. Although the officers claimed that the forceful entry into the apartment and handling of the situation was simply part of their jobs, Weinstein did not dismiss the lawsuit and proclaimed that the jury will make the final decision after arguments are heard.
Police officers are meant to protect individuals but also serve justice to those who commit crimes. Sometimes, though, police officers may go overboard in apprehending suspects or stopping a crime from occurring by using excessive and unlawful force. Police brutality is a serious offense and must be investigated in order to protect victims who do not deserve the treatment and abuse they may have received at the hands of those who are meant to protect others.
If you believe you are a victim of police brutality, contact our Pennsylvania civil rights lawyers at Williams Cedar at 215-557-0099 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Our offices are centrally located in Philadelphia and Cherry Hill, New Jersey to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and across the nation.