Cincinnati Police Brutality Lawyer
Police brutality and other acts of misconduct are unfortunately common all over the United States, including in Cincinnati. The city has a long-standing reputation for police brutality and other forms of law enforcement misconduct against citizens. When police misconduct occurs, Cincinnati residents have options for holding perpetrators legally responsible for their actions. Contact the Police Brutality Center today for assistance with getting connected to a Cincinnati police brutality lawyer.
Police brutality and misconduct is a serious problem in the United States. In Cincinnati, the city’s police department has a long history of perpetrating police brutality, misconduct, and racial profiling.
If you or a loved one experienced police misconduct by the Cincinnati Police Department, you have legal options. You can file a complaint with the police and city government, and it may also be possible to pursue legal action through the courts. Contact the Police Brutality Center today for help connecting to a trustworthy Cincinnati police brutality lawyer.
What Is Police Misconduct?
Police misconduct occurs when law enforcement officers infringe on a person’s constitutional rights. Police misconduct covers a wide range of offenses, including police brutality, verbal assault, the use of excessive force, sexual assault, fraud, bribery, and torture to extract a confession. Police misconduct often leads to lifelong trauma and can even be fatal for victims.
Police Misconduct Laws in Cincinnati
Under federal law, you can sue the police but must prove they violated your constitutional rights to obtain compensation. Such claims are typically referred to as Section 1983 lawsuits. When police use excessive force, victims can also pursue civil lawsuits for wrongful death or false arrest under Ohio state law.
Ohio has other measures designed to hold officers accountable for misconduct. Under Ohio law, law enforcement officers who engage in misconduct or neglect when performing their duties can be held accountable by a township board. The board has the power to initiate charges against officers and suspend or remove officers after the charges are heard at a regular board meeting.
Under Ohio law, a public servant who knowingly deprives someone of their constitutional rights while acting under color of law can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. However, making a false allegation of police misconduct is also a first-degree misdemeanor in Ohio.
By submitting a complaint to the city of Cincinnati, you can initiate a thorough investigation by the city’s internal review staff. If the internal review determines the officer engaged in misconduct, disciplinary action against the officer may result. In addition, claims may be pursued through both the criminal and civil justice systems.
Cincinnati Police Department History
Over the years, the Cincinnati Police Department has earned a reputation for excessive use of force and violating citizens’ civil rights. From 1995 to 2001, Cincinnati police officers killed 15 Black men and demonstrated repeated use of excessive force, including chokeholds and beatings. The Cincinnati riots of 2001 were a reaction to these incidents.
Cincinnati Police Department officers were also sued for misconduct over their actions during the summer 2020 protests following the killing of George Floyd. They were accused of using excessive force against protestors, as well as committing unlawful arrests and illegal seizures of personal property.
Cases of Police Brutality in Cincinnati
The Cincinnati Police Department’s reputation for frequent police brutality stems from years of high-profile acts of excessive force against citizens.
Timothy Thomas - 2001
In 2001, Timothy Thomas, an unarmed, 19-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by Cincinnati police officers. Thomas was running away from police officers due to outstanding warrants for nonviolent offenses. The officer who fired the fatal shot said he accidentally fired his weapon after he was “startled.”
Thomas’ death was the most notable police killing in Cincinnati history, triggering the 2001 Cincinnati riots. Citizens were outraged over the string of police killings targeting Black men in the city.
David Paul “Bones” Hebert - 2011
Police in Cincinnati shot and killed David Paul “Bones” Hebert in 2011 after he was identified as a suspect in a stabbing. Hebert’s friends went to the Cincinnati City Council to request an investigation into the shooting. Following an investigation by the county prosecutor’s office, the state decided not to pursue charges against the officer who shot Hebert.
Cincinnati Police Brutality Lawyers
A civil rights lawyer is essential when filing a civil rights or police brutality claim. In the city of Cincinnati, there are plenty of experienced police brutality lawyers ready to help you.
The Moore Law Firm handles cases related to civil rights, personal injury at the hands of police, and wrongful death. Ohio-based O’Connor, Acciani, and Levy also routinely handles civil cases related to police brutality.
If you’ve been the victim of brutality or another form of police misconduct, contact the Police Brutality Center to get legal help.
Why Work With a Police Brutality Lawyer?
A Cincinnati police misconduct lawyer will stand up for your rights and guide you through each step of the legal process. An experienced attorney will build the strongest case to give you the best chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.
Victims of police brutality can pursue personal injury, wrongful death, or civil rights claims against the officers who committed the misconduct. A lawsuit may pursue compensation for various damages, including the following:
The biggest hurdle in a suit against an officer is the qualified immunity defense. Under qualified immunity, police officers cannot be liable unless they violate a “clearly established” statutory or constitutional right. This defense typically shields police officers from personal liability if they reasonably believe they acted lawfully at the time. A skilled and knowledgeable civil rights attorney can help you build a case to overcome qualified immunity.
Filing a Civil Rights Claim in Cincinnati
The city of Cincinnati handles citizen complaints regarding police conduct, which can be filed online, over the phone, or in person. Depending on the case, these complaints are handled by either the Internal Investigations Section or the judicial system.
Additionally, victims have the option to file a complaint directly to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. This form may also be filed online or in person, and the Sheriff’s Office Professional Standards Division will handle it.
Whether you are filing a civil police brutality lawsuit in the courts or filing a complaint through the city or sheriff’s office, it is important to document all relevant evidence and consult with a police brutality lawyer. An attorney will help you to assemble the information you need to present a strong case to the judge.
Police Reform in Cincinnati
After the 2001 Cincinnati riots, the U.S. Justice Department investigated misconduct by the Cincinnati Police Department. This probe led to several reforms, including the use of police body cameras, restrictions on the use of force, and the creation of a citizen committee to review complaints of police misconduct.
The unrest in the summer of 2020 also led to calls for reform of the Cincinnati Police Department. Proposed reforms included the creation of a statewide database for police officers disciplined for misconduct. However, these reforms stalled in the state legislature, and there has been little progress.
Contact the Police Brutality Center Today
If you or a loved one experienced police brutality or misconduct at the hands of the Cincinnati Police Department, you have legal options to seek the justice and compensation you deserve.
The Police Brutality Center can connect you with an experienced Cincinnati police brutality lawyer to review your case. Get legal help through the Police Brutality Center today.