Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice Blog

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Bushwick Teen Killed by Police Was Shot 14 Times, Medical Examiner Says

What constitutes “excessive force” in New York?

Many stories have unfortunately made their way into the media about alleged instances of police shootings and other misconduct. Some of these cases center around the use of excessive force by police officers on the job.

The New York Police Department (NYPD) took steps last year to limit physical confrontations after several incidents of purported excessive force were caught on video. The NYPD is one of the largest police units, with an estimated force of over 34,500 uniformed officers.

The department mandated that documentation must be filed for any use of force used by and against an officer. Just recently, the medical examiners office in Bushwick, New York announced that a high school teen was shot 14 times by police. Police said he pointed a fake gun that looked real at a clerk as he tried to steal alcohol. He later allegedly raised the weapon at officers when he was confronted. The shooting was ruled a homicide.

What Is Excessive Force?    

Although police do have the power to arrest you in certain situations, they must be careful to use force only when absolutely necessary.

The use of excessive force by police officers can sometimes lead to devastating injuries, which could include broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, bites from police jobs or gunshot wounds. You might be able to work with a personal injury lawyer and build a case if an officer used unreasonable physical force against you.

Bringing a case against the police with allegations of excessive force is usually a complicated manner. You will want to solicit the services of a lawyer who has a track record with cases of personal injury and/or excessive force.

How Is Excessive Force Defined?

In general, any claim of excessive force is going to be analyzed next to the objective reasonableness standard of the Fourth Amendment. This means that reasonableness will be judged from “the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.”

Those reviewing the case will also take into account:

1. The severity of the crime

2. If the suspect poses an immediate safety threat to police or others

3. If a person was actively resisting or trying to evade arrest

What Are Your Options?

If you are looking to file a claim against a police department, you must move quickly to file. In addition to hiring a lawyer and pursuing a lawsuit, you can also file a complaint with NYPD internal affairs, or report an incident to the District Attorney’s office local to where the incident occurred.

If you are considering a claim, you should gather as much evidence as possible. Take photos if you suffered any visible injuries and get any official medical reports. Try your best to acquire any video of the incident, if it is available, and get contact information and names of any witnesses.

If you have been injured in a confrontation with police, contact us today for a free consultation.


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