Police have certain responsibilities when it comes to enforcing the law. While police officers are, in certain situations, permitted to use deadly force, officers are called upon to use the least amount of violence possible. As America becomes more aware of its epidemic of police brutality, more families are fighting back when their loved ones become injured in police shootings. Police shootings can lead to deaths and serious injuries. If you or a loved one has been seriously hurt after being shot by police, and the courts find that officers used excessive force or that the shooting was an act of police brutality, you and your family may be entitled to seek damages for your family’s losses, medical costs, and lost wages due to your loved one’s missed time from work and pain and suffering. The Law Offices of Oscar Syger are police brutality lawyers who can assist you if you or a loved one were hurt in a police shooting in Boca Raton, Florida.
When Are Police Shootings Justified?
According to the American Bar, the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures also governs police shootings. The Fourth Amendment governs when it is and isn’t appropriate for police to exercise deadly force when making an arrest or stopping an individual. According to the Supreme Court, each case must be observed in its own context. Police can only use deadly force or shoot a suspect when police have reason to believe that their own safety is at risk, or when they feel that a suspect fleeing the scene of a crime could put the general public in danger. This means that it is one thing to shoot a suspect fleeing the scene of a bank robbery when the suspect has a bomb strapped to his chest, but it is another thing entirely to shooting the suspect of a motor vehicle stop who flees the scene of the traffic stop unarmed. In cases where there may be ambiguity in whether an officer should or should not have used force, generally, the courts will give the police officer the benefit of the doubt. Cases of ambiguity could include those where a suspect was behaving erratically, was mentally ill, under the influence of drugs, or carrying a weapon like a knife.What does this mean for families whose loved ones have been shot by police officers? It means that having a strong case when pursuing a claim for damages in civil court is essential. The stronger your case, the more likely your family might be able to seek a claim under the law. The Law Offices of Oscar Syger are police brutality lawyers in Boca Raton, Florida who may be able to help you seek damages if you or a loved one were shot by police.
Understanding Shooting Injuries
Shooting injuries can be very serious and deadly. The most immediate danger after a person suffers a gunshot wound is loss of blood. Paramedics, doctors, bystanders, and even police officers who shot the victim can take steps to prevent further injury or death. Putting pressure on the gunshot wound, using a tourniquet, and sealing the wound are important. The most important thing a gunshot wound victim needs is immediate medical attention. If there is internal bleeding hospital staff may be able to stop the bleeding in time, saving the person’s life. If police fail to take action to treat a victim they have shot, officers could be held accountable for any injuries suffered by a victim due to a lack of treatment.
Shooting victims, if they survive the initial injury, may also face long-term challenges and disability. Shooting injuries can leave victims disabled, with nerve damage, or paralyzed if the gunshot wound resulted in a spinal cord injury. That doesn’t even begin to address the psychological impact of a shooting. Victims can find themselves suffering from PTSD. They may no longer trust police and they may have difficulty sleeping, engaging in regular life activities, and may suffer from flashbacks.
Where a person is shot can have an immense impact on whether a person will recover. Gunshot wounds to the head are often deadly or incredibly disabling. Gunshot wounds to the abdomen can be deadly because of the infections that can follow such an injury. Other wounds, such as arm or leg gunshot wounds can heal, but sometimes victims may be left with physical or emotional scars that can haunt them for life.
The long-term rehabilitation process for a shooting victim can be costly. If you or a loved one is navigating the long road to recovery after suffering a gunshot wound due to police brutality or excessive force, you and your family may have the right to seek damages under the law. The Law Offices of Oscar Syger are police brutality lawyers in Boca Raton, Florida who may be able to help you today.