Police Brutality Lawyer in Des Moines, Iowa
Police brutality is a rising force in the world of crime, and much like insurance companies, policemen believe they can undercut and harm those who they deem as “beneath them.” Johnston Martineau LLP knows that nobody is beneath the police, not even police officers, and each police brutality lawyer in Des Moines, IA will see that police brutality is dealt with through the Iowa legal system in the appropriate manner.
What Is Police Brutality?
This is a term used to describe the brutality that people experience from the police when they have their rights violated. People who experience police brutality may be beaten, experience abuse that’s racially focused, be killed unlawfully, be tortured, and much more.
You may find yourself wondering why police brutality is a human rights issue, and that’s okay. The police are an organized group of people who are tasked with upholding the laws, however, sometimes they may think themselves above the law. The issue stands when officers begin to misuse their power.
This is especially true if the police are unlawfully detaining people, unlawfully killing people, or if the police force is considered to be excessive; whether in size or in the type of weapons they have. Police forces that are deemed excessive in nature, and have a history of misusing their power, have the ability to take away the people’s right to freedoms. These freedoms, such as the freedom of life, the right to liberty, the right to security, the right to equal protection, and many more are inherent parts of human life.
Are The Police Allowed To Kill People?
From the news, it’d seem so. In fact, there are international laws that govern when the police can use lethal force. The UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, or BPUFF, is one such law that deals with police and the use of force.
Police officers are supposed to respect and protect everyone’s right to live, and that’s what this law banks on. Under this law, officers should only use lethal force as their last resort, so it shouldn’t be used unless there is no other way to protect themselves or others from serious injury or death.
From that alone, many police killings seen on the news throughout the 2000s have not been up to par with standards. In fact, in protests in Iran in 2019, the police shot and killed hundreds of protesters who were protesting peacefully.
You may ask, “does the United States have to follow international laws?” The answer is yes, all governments must incorporate internationally defined human rights laws into their domestic legislation, however many countries have failed at doing so adequately. In the United States alone, nine states don’t have laws that govern the use of lethal force by law enforcement officers.
If you or your loved ones have experienced a loss or personal injury due to police brutality, reach out to Johnston Martineau LLP today, so that they can review your case and decide if they can help you as a police brutality lawyer in Des Moines, IA.
Police Brutality and People with Mental Illness
The issue of police brutality and other misconduct by law enforcement officers entered the debate front and center during 2020, with multiple incidents covered in the national media, sparking protests in hundreds of cities and towns across the country. While there have been elevated concerns regarding the link between police brutality and racial discrimination, another growing area of concern is the number of incidents that have resulted in harm to the suspects, revealing that police officers are not equipped to handle emergency calls that involve people who are suffering from mental illness.
A Des Moines, IA police brutality lawyer is aware of the number of recent studies that have examined how law enforcement throughout the country responds to situations where there is a person involved who has some form of mental health issue. These studies have come up with some disturbing conclusions.
Approximately 25 percent of cases where a person was killed during an encounter with police were calls where police were responding to reports of a “disruptive behavior” that was related to the suspect’s mental health or substance abuse.
These studies found that a person with an untreated mental illness is more than 15 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than other civilians. The data also reveals that the death of a person suffering from mental illness by police is 40 percent more likely to occur in mid-size towns than they are in large cities.
A police brutality lawyer in Des Moines, IA understands that a large part of the problem is that police officers are trained to respond to potential threats. Police officers are also authorized to used deadly force when they fear that their life is in jeopardy. Many officers are not trained in dealing with a person who is suffering from mental illness, therefore, when the person is behaving in an erratic way, an officer is more likely to respond with deadly force instead of attempting to deescalate the situation.
Because of the growing number of police shootings of people with mental health issues, many mental health advocates are demanding that law enforcement learn a different approach than the ones they are using now. Many cities across the country have begun just that and are now including emergency medical technicians, social workers, firefighters, and other professionals who have mental health training when responding to emergency calls where a person with mental health or behavioral issues may be involved.
Let Our Office Help
If you have a loved one who has mental health issues that was involved in an altercation with police that you feel went over the proper protocols and into the area of police brutality, contact a Des Moines, IA police brutality lawyer from Johnston Martineau LLP to find out what legal recourse you may have.