When police brutality ends in death, surviving family members can bring civil suits against the people and other entities that are responsible. By taking a stand, survivors can help ensure police killings are reduced in the future. In 2017, a record 1,129 people were killed in the United States at the hands of police officers. This was more than the total number of American soldiers who died in battle that year. For those who have lost a loved one at the hands of police, a myriad of questions must be answered.
The Obligations of the Police
Police officers have an obligation to enforce the law while also protecting the rights of the people, including those accused or suspected of crimes. In the heat of a confrontation, many officers abuse their power. Some will pull the trigger too quickly. About 92 percent of police killings were shootings in 2017. Even weapons like stun guns, when abused, can cause serious injury or death. In some cases, physical force is the killer. When the police overstep their authority and police brutality causes a death, the victim’s surviving family has the right to seek compensation.
What Can Be Done by Those Left Behind?
After a police brutality event that leads to death, survivors have the right to seek financial compensation through a police misconduct claim or a wrongful death claim. In each of these types of cases, the law enforcement officers are held accountable for their misconduct, while the victim’s families are given compensation to help with the pain and suffering they experience. In one particular case, the family of a victim was awarded $363,000 in a settlement with the Las Vegas police after an inmate was killed at the hands of the police.
However, fighting against law enforcement without the right help can feel like an uphill battle. Many families of victims will use a personal injury lawyer to help them understand their rights as they move forward. While no amount of money can replace a lost loved one, survivors can use the compensation gained from a civil suit to begin rebuilding their lives after a police brutality death.