10 Examples of Police Misconduct To Refer to for Your Case in Pennsylvania

Police officers are not perfect. The vast majority of police officers perform their jobs with diligence and in compliance with the law. Unfortunately, some law enforcement officers are guilty of law enforcement misconduct or police misconduct. 

Examples of police misconduct include, but are not limited to:

  • Use of excessive force
  • Tampering with evidence
  • Police brutality
  • Mishandling evidence
  • Coerced confessions
  • Sexual assault
  • Lying on police reports
  • False imprisonment or arrest
  • Witness tampering and intimidation

The victims of police misconduct could be unlawfully convicted of a crime. Other victims are severely injured or killed. 

If a police officer violates your constitutional rights or causes you injury, you might have a civil claim against the police officer, the police department, and other parties. Contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately to discuss your situation. 

Below are 10 instances in which police misconduct was clearly evident.

John Spencer – Fabricating Evidence

John Spencer was unlawfully arrested because New York police officers fabricated evidence. They lifted his fingerprints from items touched when they booked him and planted the fingerprints at the crime scene. They wanted to strengthen the evidence against Spencer to support a homicide charge.

Rachelle Jackson – False Arrest

Chicago police officers arrested Jackson after she pulled another officer from a burning car after a car crash. The officers accused Jackson of stealing the officer’s firearm. 

Officers coerced Jackson into signing a statement. She remained in jail until a judge dismissed her case ten months later. 

Jackson sued the police department for false arrest, malicious prosecution, and coercive questioning. She received a $7.7 million award.

Rodney King – Police Brutality 

In Los Angeles in 1991, King did not immediately stop for police officers when they tried to pull him over for speeding. When King pulled over, the officers tasered him, beat him with police batons, and kicked him repeatedly. 

It is the worst case of police brutality caught on video. King won his civil lawsuit against the police officers.

New York Woman – Rape and Sexual Assault 

A New York woman was violently raped and sexually assaulted by New York City police officers Eddie Martins and Richard Hall after they arrested her on drug charges for possession of marijuana. The officer threatened the woman with criminal charges if she reported the crimes. However, she did report the crimes, and the officers were charged with kidnapping, coercion, and sex crimes

Ferguson, Missouri – Racial Profiling

Police officers routinely used racial profiling to stop men of color without probable cause, an arrest warrant, or reasonable suspicion. They based the stops solely on the person’s race. 

Racial profiling was widespread and extensive. Yet, when questioned, the officers lied about their actions and only received a short suspension. 

Eric Garner – Excessive Force Resulting in Death

During Garner’s arrest for selling illegal cigarettes, officers tackled Garner to the ground. An officer used an illegal choke hold on Garner. Garner could be heard on a video begging for help and saying he could not breathe.

Garner died because of the actions of the officers. The officer who used the illegal chokehold and would not let Garner up was fired.

Walter Scott – Planting Evidence and Lying on Police Reports

Officer Michael Slager shot and killed Scott in North Charleston, SC, in 2015. The officer pulled Scott over for a broken taillight. A video shows that Scott was running away from the officer when he was shot in the back.

The officer claims Scott struggled for the officer’s taser, and the officer shot him because he feared for his life. However, the video shows that the officer made up the story because he walked to the body and placed the taser on the ground next to Scott.

Officer Anthony Maldonado – Theft and Witness Tampering 

Officer Maldonado pulled a driver over in Maui, Hawaii. He took a large amount of cash from the driver. The driver reported the theft.

Maldonado tried to bribe the driver. He was fired and sentenced to prison for theft and tampering with evidence. 

George Floyd – Police Brutality

The brutal treatment of Floyd by police officers was also caught on video. Officers held Floyd down as he begged for his life. The officers violated department policies numerous times.

The officers were fired after Floyd’s death and charged with several crimes, including second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

Philando Castile – Excessive Force

Castile was pulled over for a traffic stop. He informed the officer he had a legal firearm in the vehicle. He agreed not to reach for the firearm.

The officer fired seven times into the vehicle when Castile reached for his identification. The officer killed Castile in front of his child and girlfriend, who were in the vehicle with Castile. 

Police Misconduct Is Not the Norm, But it Does Happen

Police misconduct can take many different forms, some of which can have devastating consequences for the victims. If you feel that you have been a victim of police misconduct, it is important to contact an experienced attorney who can help you seek justice. 

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(610) 430-3535

***This blog article is made available by the law firm publisher for educational purposes and to provide general information, not to provide specific legal advice. By reading, you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the publisher. The above-listed information does not include the entire crime code, annotations, amendments, or any recent changes that may be relevant. The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Please contact DiCindio Law, LLC for a consultation and to discuss what law is relevant to your case.***