CIVIL RIGHTS CLAIMS

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[Elvert Barnes — Attribution 2.0]

Protecting your rights

Excessive Force Claims

The most common civil rights claims are those involving the use of excessive force by law enforcement. These include serious injury claims such as those arising out of police shootings in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Other common claims result from false arrests and unreasonable searches and seizures.

Generally, police are allowed to use reasonable physical force to subdue and arrest suspect. But, in those situations where the police use violence to punish, intimidate, coerce confessions or intentionally inflict pain, taking legal action is necessary and appropriate.

An experienced civil rights attorney will know the right questions to ask regarding your potential claim — such as:

  • Police batons — Did the officers follow procedure or use excessive force? Did the officer stop once the person was subdued?
  • Tasers — Was the use of the Taser necessary to respond to an actual threat? Did the officer continue to use it after the person was subdued?
  • Pepper spray — Was the use of pepper spray a reasonable response to an actual threat? Did the officer intentionally sprayed into the mouth or nose at close range?
  • Choke holds and take-downs — Did the officer comply with established procedures? Was the action necessary to eliminate a threat or danger?

Equal Protection Claims

Equal Protection claims are brought when the government treats one class of people differently than another class of people. The most common claims involve discrimination against minorities and other protected classes of people. In certain circumstances, courts have allowed “class of one” claims where a person can show that a governmental actor singled out a victim for irrational differential treatment.

Denial of Medical Attention

A constitutional claim may also be filed if the government shows “deliberate indifference” to a detainee in custody with a “serious medical need”. The need for medical attention must be objectively serious. Deliberate indifference requires a showing of actual knowledge of a problem on the part of the state actor.

Speak With an Experienced Mississippi Constitutional Rights Lawyer

To discuss your potential civil rights claim, contact us by email or call us at 601-957-3101. Our law firm is located in downtown Jackson, just off I-55. Behind the building, parking is available.

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