Police Misconduct

Broadly defined, misconduct is any unlawful conduct on the part of a person concerned in the administration of justice which is prejudicial to the rights of parties or to the right determination of the cause; as “misconduct of jurors,” “misconduct of an arbitrator.” The term is also used to express a dereliction from duty, injurious to another, on the part of one employed in a professional capacity, as an attorney or law enforcement officer.

Broadly defined, police misconduct includes the use of excessive and/or unnecessary force by police when dealing with civilians. “Excessive use of force” means a force well beyond what would be necessary in order to handle a situation. Police brutality can be present in a number of ways. The most obvious form of police brutality is a physical form. Police officers can use nerve gas, batons, pepper spray, and guns in order to physically intimidate or even intentionally hurt civilians. Police brutality can also take the form of false arrests, verbal abuse, psychological intimidation, sexual abuse, police corruption, racial profiling, political repression and the improper use of Tasers.

Deliberate indifference or failure to attend to the known medical needs, physical or mental, of an individual incarcerated in the care and custody of a law enforcement agency can also be considered police misconduct.