Excessive Use of Force by Police
If you were beaten during an arrest or physically abused by police, reach out to our offices immediately. Our legal team, headed by John Burris, has the proven track record to make them pay. We have a long record of holding officers accountable for excessive force or outright police brutality. Learn more about how Mr. Burris’ has helped everyday citizens get the justice they deserve on his bio page.
Our offices have represented clients in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout Northern California in numerous cases involving excessive force and police brutality. Find out why Tupac Shakur, Rodney King, and others chose our team to represent them in their fight for justice CONTACT US today for a initial case evaluation at 510-839-5200.
“If you wish to know what a man is, place him in authority.”
— Yugoslavian Proverb
When the Police Go Too Far
Police are allowed to use reasonable physical force to apprehend and subdue a suspect. We get involved when officers use violence to punish, intimidate, coerce confessions or intentionally inflict pain. As co-counsel in the Rodney King civil trial, Mr. Burris and his police experts demonstrated that the majority of the 58 blows rained upon Mr. King occurred after he was subdued and posed no threat to the safety of LAPD officers. If he flinched, they hit him again. And again.
Mr. Burris and his team have secured numerous verdicts and settlements for victims of excessive force or police brutality. Our attorneys know the questions to ask regarding any use of force:
- Police batons — Did the officers follow procedure (e.g., no blows to the head)? Did they stop once the person was disabled and subdued? Did they break bones?
- Tasers — The powerful electrical charge in stun guns can change heart rhythm and cause heart attacks. Was the Taser used because the person was merely verbally combative, or did the person pose an actual threat? How many times was the person shocked? Was it used after cuffs were on?
- Pepper spray (OC spray) — Why was the person sprayed? Was it intentionally sprayed into the mouth or nose at close range? Did officers let up when the citizen was in obvious respiratory distress?
- Handcuffs — We have handled cases of handcuffed suspects suffering severe facial injuries when thrown to the ground or against a wall.
- Choke holds/kicks/take-downs — Some departments forbid certain tactics, and some officers take things too far. Was the technique legal? Was it necessary or gratuitous?
- Crowd control — Our representation in an Oakland Police. case led to changes in police policy regarding indiscriminate use of rubber bullets or tear gas on crowds of protesters.
We examine whether an objective and reasonable officer in the same circumstances would have acted in the same way, whether the officer(s) followed departmental procedure and whether the suspect was even resisting arrest. Mr. Burris has handled police misconduct cases since opening his own practice in 1985. He is committed to securing monetary damages for victims of excessive force and holding police to a high standard for when and how force is applied.