We believe even an incarcerated individual deserves the same protections as someone who is free. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. In fact, when it comes to excessive force, the law applies different amendments to alleged victims, depending on their custodial status. That means the law works differently for excessive force claims when it comes to an incarcerated convict, a pretrial detainee, and a free person.
In general, a pretrial detainee is protected under the 14th Amendment’s right to substantive due process. If you or a loved one were a pretrial detainee, and believe you may have a case of excessive force in custody on your hands, the official’s use of force must be “conscience-shocking” in order to obtain a judgement in the victim’s favor. Furthermore, there are two separate culpability standards depending on whether the situation was an emergency or not.
On the other hand, an incarcerated convict is protected under the 8th Amendment’s cruel and unusual punishment clause. The “excessive force” an official imposes upon an incarcerated individual must be proved to be, “maliciously and sadistically with the very purpose of causing harm” in order for the officer’s actions to violate the Constitution.
Despite your status, our law firm believes in protecting your right against excessive force. If you’ve been the victim of excessive force in custody, you have the right to file a complaint and request an investigation into the police officer’s actions.
Excessive police force can have a profound, devastating effect on your life, is an abuse of power, and a violation of your civil rights. Your life, health, and wellbeing should not be endangered by a person of power. It’s important to understand your rights, find a lawyer to be your advocate, and seek the compensation you deserve if you believe you’ve been a victim of excessive police force.