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Los Angeles, being the massive and highly populated city that it is (and understatement to be sure), as a whole understands that the role of law enforcement is indispensable in maintaining public safety. But what happens when the threat comes from those sworn to protect us? When the line between protection and harm blurs, it raises serious questions—not just about safety but also about legal rights and remedies.

Have you ever wondered what it means legally when the police exceed their authority? Beyond the immediate physical risks, do such actions infringe upon your civil rights? Yes, your rights are real, and so is your entitlement to seek justice and compensation if you’ve fallen victim to police brutality. Searching for a police brutality lawyer is a strong first step. But knowing exactly what type of lawyer you need, whether you have a valid case, and understanding your rights are crucial next steps.

At Kirakosian Law, we’re not just lawyers; we’re your advocates in what can only be described as the complex labyrinth of civil rights law. Here, we’ll break down what constitutes police brutality, help you determine if you have a case, and explain why expert legal representation is not just helpful—it’s essential.



Defining Police Brutality


What does police brutality look like in today’s world? This question isn’t just rhetorical—it’s a crucial part of understanding the boundary between lawful enforcement and unlawful aggression. Police brutality encompasses a range of misconducts including unwarranted shootings, excessive physical force, unnecessary use of tasers or pepper spray, and even verbal abuse that can escalate situations unnecessarily.

Recent incidents highlight the urgency of addressing this issue. For instance, the global reaction to the 2020 case involving George Floyd, where a Minneapolis police officer used fatal force during an arrest, has sparked widespread calls for police reform. Closer to home, Los Angeles has seen its share of troubling cases. Police brutality extends beyond physical violence to include inadequate and often harmful responses to mental health crises. This issue is so prevalent in California that it prompted the introduction of the CRISES Act in 2023. This legislation aims to address the problem by funding community-based alternatives that provide non-violent and supportive responses during mental health emergencies, reflecting a significant shift toward more compassionate law enforcement practices.

These examples are not just news items; they are real situations that affected real people. How does it make you feel knowing these incidents continue to occur? At Kirakosian Law, we use these examples to illustrate the patterns that may constitute brutality and to help our clients identify similar experiences they may have endured.

By recognizing these patterns, you can better understand if what happened to you, or someone you know, qualifies as police brutality. Understanding these scenarios is the first step towards taking action and seeking justice. If any of these situations resonate with your experiences, it might be time to seek legal advice.



Evaluating Your Case


Do you believe you’ve been wronged by the police? Here’s what to consider: Was the force used necessary? Was it proportional to the situation? Answering ‘no’ to these questions might indicate a violation of your rights. Evidence plays a crucial role here—video recordings, witness statements, and medical reports all build your case. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) offers resources on how to gather and present this evidence effectively ACLU guide on documenting police conduct.


Your Rights and Legal Avenues


As a victim of police brutality, you possess the right to file a complaint against the officers involved, which can lead to internal investigations. More importantly, you can pursue civil claims for damages such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, and even punitive damages to hold those responsible accountable. It’s crucial to act swiftly, as specific timelines govern these actions in California. But not just any lawyer will do. A police brutality attorney will help specifically with this. Some key things to keep in mind concerning your rights BEFORE a lawyer enters the picture:



Right to Remain Silent: You have the right to remain silent when being questioned by police. This is crucial in cases of police brutality, as anything you say can be used against you in court.

Right to Refuse Consent to Search: Unless police have a warrant or there are exigent circumstances, you have the right to refuse consent to search your person, car, or home. This can be an important right in encounters that might escalate into instances of brutality.

Right to Record Police Activities: In many jurisdictions, you have the right to record public activities, including police actions, as long as you do not interfere with their duties. This can be vital for documenting evidence of police misconduct or brutality.

Right to Medical Attention: If you are injured as a result of police brutality, you have the right to receive prompt medical treatment. Documenting these injuries through medical professionals is also crucial for any subsequent legal action.

Right to Legal Representation: You have the right to an attorney if you are arrested. In cases involving accusations of police brutality, having legal representation can help ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process and that you can effectively pursue claims for damages or other remedies.

These things are critical to keep in mind if you are ever arrested. Police may use various tactics to have you willingly give up your rights (“this would be easier if we talked without your attorney”). You have a right to silence, to refuse a search unless a warrant or probable cause or extenuating circumstances demands it (check your local laws), to record police (again, check your local laws), medical attention (document everything) and the right to an attorney.


The Critical Role of Legal Representation


Why is having a specialized police brutality lawyer by your side so crucial? Because these cases are not just about proving facts but also about navigating the legal system effectively. At Kirakosian Law, we provide:

  • Strategic Advocacy: We understand the nuances of both state and federal laws and know how to work within the system to get you the justice you deserve.
  • Thorough Investigation: We leave no stone unturned, from securing surveillance footage to obtaining credible expert testimonies that support your case.
  • Comprehensive Support: From the initial consultation to the courtroom, we’re with you every step of the way.

Encountering police brutality can be deeply unsettling, but you’re not alone in this fight. Kirakosian Law is dedicated to guiding you through these challenging times with expertise and empathy. Remember, understanding your rights is your first shield against injustice.

For more information or to discuss your situation with a seasoned police brutality lawyer, reach out to us at Kirakosian Law. Let us help you navigate this journey toward justice.