Las Vegas Police Brutality Lawyer

Las Vegas police officers are supposed to protect citizens’ lives, but in cases of police brutality, they destroy them. If an officer uses excessive force, kills someone without legal justification, or otherwise violates your constitutional rights, you deserve justice. The Police Brutality Center helps victims of police misconduct in Las Vegas connect with legal representation so that they can hold the police accountable for their actions and pursue compensation for their medical costs, emotional trauma, and suffering. 

Were you or a loved one a victim of police brutality?

Attorneys that work with Police Brutality Center may be able to assist you.

The bright lights of Las Vegas sometimes conceal its troublesome history of police brutality, misconduct, and racial profiling. In 2018 and 2019, the city’s police department received over 4,500 misconduct complaints, but less than 10 percent ended with disciplinary action. 

If you have experienced police brutality or lost a loved one due to an officer’s excessive use of force, the Police Brutality Center will help you seek justice. You can work with a Las Vegas police brutality lawyer to file a claim against the officers and police department that were responsible for your suffering. 

Police Misconduct Laws in Las Vegas

If you or a loved one have experienced police brutality or excessive force in Las Vegas, both state and federal laws determine what actions you can take and what steps you should follow.

Violations of Constitutional Rights

The federal government protects victims of police brutality with 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which is the federal statute that allows you to sue when officers violate your constitutional rights. For your case to succeed, a civil rights lawyer must prove that an officer deprived you of your rights while acting under the color of law. In other words, your lawyer must show the officers were using their authority as police officers when they violated your rights. Police misconduct claims often involve these types of violations:

Pursuing a legal action against the police is complex. Certain legal protections and immunities shield police officers and their departments from liability. For instance, the qualified immunity doctrine protects officers from liability unless they violate “clearly established” statutory or constitutional rights. Thus, the law might shield them from liability even if an officer’s actions were objectively wrong.

Anyone considering a civil rights lawsuit should consult legal counsel to navigate the complexities of such cases.

Right to Use Force

In addition, Nevada has separate police misconduct laws that can affect your ability to file suit against a law enforcement officer. 

Nevada law enforcement officers have the right to use a certain level of force to maintain control in dangerous situations. As outlined in Nevada Revised Statute § 200.140, police officers in Nevada can use deadly force in these situations: 

To successfully bring a police brutality claim in Las Vegas, an attorney must prove the officer’s force was unnecessary, excessive, and unjustified under the law. 

Statute of Limitations

If you or someone you know has been a victim of police brutality, it’s essential to take legal action as quickly as possible. Under Nevada state law, you have two years from the incident date to file a lawsuit against a police department. After that point, your claim is no longer valid. However, the two-year timeframe doesn’t begin until your eighteenth birthday if you were a minor when the incident occurred.

Las Vegas Police Department History

The Las Vegas Police Department has a long history of questionable conduct and a reputation for excessive use of force and civil rights violations. Much of the problem originates from the police department’s struggle to adapt to the city’s transformation in the 1970s and 1980s when it lost its small-town feel and became a bustling urban environment. 

The presence of organized crime in Las Vegas casinos also made it difficult for the police to manage escalating levels of violence and theft. Overworked and overwhelmed, some LVMPD officers resorted to corruption. Others managed to abuse their power without drawing attention, and the department as a whole lacked accountability and transparency. 

As a result of this history, the LVMPD now struggles to recruit new officers. The department has made efforts to build a force that better reflects the community’s demographics, but it’s a difficult goal to achieve because of the widespread lack of trust in law enforcement.

Cases of Police Brutality in Las Vegas

Over the years, the LVMPD has faced many accusations of misconduct. While these cases may be different from your own, they help clarify what constitutes police brutality and excessive force in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Police Brutality Lawyers

A variety of Las Vegas attorneys and law firms are available to assist victims of police brutality. They include: 

Joshua Benson of Benson Allred Injury Law, who represented Jasmine King and recovered a $1.8 million settlement after she was nearly blinded by an explosive device police placed at her door

Patrick McDonnell of Michaelson Law, one of several attorneys representing the family of Byron Williams, who died when police pinned him to the ground and knelt on his back for several minutes

Peter Goldstein, who helped recover $1.75 million for the father of Jason Dickman, a man murdered by another inmate while in police custody at the Clark County Detention Center

These and other attorneys with experience in police brutality cases know how to navigate the city’s complex legal processes. At Police Brutality Center, we may be able to help connect you with a civil rights lawyer so you can get legal help.

Why Work With a Police Brutality Lawyer?

Victims of police brutality often feel powerless and unsure of how to move forward. An experienced attorney will listen to the details of your case and then review police reports, videos, photographs, and witness testimony to gather evidence that supports your claim. A lawyer can also help you properly complete the paperwork to submit a misconduct complaint. 

For many victims, the primary goal of hiring an attorney is making the responsible party acknowledge the harm they caused. In a civil rights case, this might involve recovering different types of damages, including:

Your lawyer will calculate the amount and type of damages you can seek before filing your claim.

Filing a Civil Rights Claim in Las Vegas

There are multiple ways for victims of police misconduct in Las Vegas to bring attention to their experience. An attorney can assist you with filing a complaint or lawsuit.

Citizen Review Board

As a victim of police brutality, you can file complaints about police misconduct with the LVMPD Citizen Review Board as long as you submit it within one year of the date of the incident. When you file a written complaint, the board’s director reviews it and determines whether it falls under their jurisdiction. If it does, a screening panel reviews it and any documentation submitted by internal affairs or the officer in question. They might dismiss it or recommend disciplinary action, additional training, or policy changes.

LVMPD Complaint Submission

You can also submit a complaint directly to the LVMPD through the department’s website. If the department feels your report warrants further investigation, a representative of the Internal Affairs Bureau will reach out to speak to you and gather more information about the officer involved. 

Your complaint should contain as many details as possible, including:

When you file your complaint, remember that it needs to paint a clear and accurate picture of what occurred.

Civil Lawsuit

If you decide to pursue a civil claim against the police department and any officers, your attorney will investigate, collect evidence, and speak to witnesses. They will review footage from police body cameras, which Nevada law requires all officers to wear and use. Your attorney will also complete all necessary paperwork and file it within the statute of limitations.

Police Reform in Las Vegas

In 2021, the LVMPD released a 37-page accountability report and promised to continue to do so in subsequent years. Unfortunately, only one year later, the department announced it would no longer produce or release its report, which included a list of complaints against police officers and the resolution of any internal investigations conducted in response to the complaints. This about-face reflects a lack of progress that frustrates advocates for police reform throughout Las Vegas. 

Despite this development, the Crime and Justice Institute issued a report showing that the LVMPD has made some positive changes, such as:

These improvements demonstrate that change is possible but that the fight for better police practices is far from over. 

Seeking Support for Las Vegas Police Brutality Victims

You shouldn’t have to carry the financial burden and anxiety of growing medical bills following an incidence of police brutality. While your encounter with police may have left you physically and emotionally traumatized, you can fight for justice, and you don’t have to do it alone. 

An attorney will provide guidance as you decide whether to file a misconduct complaint or a civil rights lawsuit. If you need assistance from a Las Vegas police misconduct lawyer, contact the Police Brutality Center to get legal help.