As Americans, we are entitled to fundamental civil rights under the U.S. Constitution, including the right to protection from arbitrary arrest, the right to due process of the law, and the right to a fair trial. Unfortunately, too many civil rights violations occur when it comes to law enforcement, including police assault and misconduct; excessive force; wrongful incarceration, imprisonment, or arrest; unlawful and unreasonable search and seizure; hate crimes; and discrimination, including racial profiling.
How pervasive is the problem of civil rights violations by the police? According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, New York City, home of the nation’s largest police department, has rung up more than $1.1 billion in payouts between 2015 and 2020.
A 2022 Washington Post report shows that in some cities (including New York), officers whose conduct was at issue in multiple claims accounted for over 60% of those cities’ settlement totals.
If your civil rights have been violated, contact the law firm of Ronemus & Vilensky, New York civil rights attorneys with years of proven success in defending their clients.
A Deeper Dive into Civil Rights Violations by a Police Officer
Following is a description of the most common civil rights violations.
The most common police-related complaint in New York City is excessive abuse, also known as police brutality. Physical assaults, firearm-related complaints, taser-related complaints, and complaints involving police dogs, vehicles, or chemical weapons fall under this category. In addition, most fatalities associated with police brutality involve firearms, physical force, and tasers.
Police Harassment, Police Misconduct
The second most common source of police-related complaints is sexual misconduct and police harassment. Consensual sexual activity while an officer is on duty, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and child molestation all fall under this category.
Police discrimination refers to unethical behavior by police officers that revolves around, but is not limited to, one’s gender, race, sexual orientation, or disabilities. False arrests, beatings, and harassment by police officials are examples of this, as are racial profiling and unethical hiring and/or promotion protocols by NYC police departments based on race, gender, or sexual orientation.
False Arrest or Incarceration
A false arrest occurs when a victim is detained without probable cause or court approval. It is more common than you might believe.
Who Investigates Civil Rights Violations?
Criminal civil rights violations are investigated and prosecuted by the FBI in addition to state and local civil rights law enforcement units, which is important in the entire process. But, what about compensation for the victims (and their families) who have suffered bodily injury, property damage, and other losses? This is where you need a civil rights law firm.
A Civil Rights Attorney Will Provide Help When Your Rights Have Been Violated
A civil rights lawyer will provide aggressive legal advocacy to hold police officers and law enforcement accountable for violating your rights. For example, the law firm of Ronemus & Vilensky represented a man killed by police officers during a routine traffic stop, and filed both a lawsuit on behalf of the family and a class action suit to stop the NYPD for its pattern of racial profiling and excessive use of force.
“My office has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Feliz family for the assassination of Allan Feliz, their son, father, brother, and friend who was gunned down by the police, who had illegally racially profiled him,” lawyer Robert Vilensky told The Post. “The lawsuit is also filed on behalf of all others in the City of New York who have been illegally subjected to racial profiling and police brutality.”
Compensation for a Civil Rights Violation
Civil rights lawyers provide a free and confidential consultation to review and discuss your case and rights under federal and New York law. Depending on the specific details of the case, victims of civil rights violations may recover monetary damages including compensation for financial, reputational, mental health, and quality of life losses caused by the mistreatment.
A jury may also award punitive damages to punish the perpetrator and deter future behavior when the case is particularly egregious. Larger municipalities, like those in New York, have paid victims and their families tens of millions of dollars, through either pre- or mid-trial settlements or civil jury awards, following judgments against officers and/or the police department.
Contact NY Civil Rights Attorneys Ronemus & Vilensky
One of our key areas of law practice is representing victims in civil rights cases. As New York civil rights attorneys, we fight against injustice and inequity. We aggressively advocate for our clients to ensure they receive the justice they deserve while demanding that those responsible for violating our clients’ legal rights be held accountable.
We employ our years of knowledge and proven success to achieve favorable results for our clients. We tailor our legal strategies to represent the critical facts of the case. We also effectively present evidence of the case before a judge or jury to win at trial.
Our objective is to seek justice for our clients. Contact our experienced personal injury lawyers to discuss your case. We provide free consultation, and our legal fees are paid from the settlements we achieve for clients.
Take a look at our success in taking legal action in civil rights cases in New York.