Santa Ana Police Brutality Lawyer and Police Misconduct Attorney

Santa Ana Police Brutality Lawyer and Police Misconduct Attorney

United States law guarantees citizens certain fundamental rights and protections. These rights should safeguard individuals from various forms of discrimination, ensure due process, and protect against excessive force used by the government. In a safe and just society, those sworn to “protect and serve” should uphold these rights, not go against them. If law enforcement used excessive or unlawful force on you, our Santa Ana police brutality lawyer can help.

When you have been a victim of police brutality, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. Police brutality is a violation of your rights. You deserve justice. At The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC, we seek to help you understand your rights and find the support you need in Santa Ana.

Santa Ana Police Brutality Lawyer

Police Brutality in Santa Ana

After experiencing police brutality, you should seek legal representation from a police brutality attorney. These professionals can help you learn your legal rights. Police brutality has many forms, including:

  • Excessive Force: This may involve using a weapon or unnecessary physical violence in an arrest or detention.
  • Unlawful Detention: Citizens have the right to be free from unreasonable seizure. It can be an illegal detainment if an officer stops you without probable cause or arrests you without justification.
  • Racial Profiling: Officers can violate your civil rights by targeting you based on race or ethnicity.
  • Verbal Abuse: Law enforcement cannot use aggressive language, demean, intimidate, or psychologically damage you without infringing on your rights.

Seeking Help From a Skilled Attorney

Do not hesitate to seek legal help if you believe law enforcement violated your rights. A skilled police brutality attorney can evaluate your case to determine your legal options. There may be a variety of legal avenues depending on your situation.

After exploring your options, your attorney can provide solid legal representation. At The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC, we can fight to ensure you receive justice. We have experience handling police brutality cases and can help you in the Santa Ana legal system.

The Safeguards of Civil Rights

The assumption that people treat others fairly and with dignity, regardless of background or circumstance, rests on the foundation of civil rights. When properly working, the robust federal and state legal framework can protect these rights by deterring violations and providing justice for victims of violations.

Federal Protections and Civil Liberties

Through various amendments and legal precedents, the United States legal system and Constitution are meant to protect civil rights and shield citizens from overreach from the government. Examples in the Constitution include:

  • Freedom of Religion: The amendment guarantees the right to practice any religion, or none, free from government influence.
  • Freedom of Speech: This right allows citizens to express their opinions and beliefs, even when critical of the government. There should be no fear of punishment.
  • Freedom from Unreasonable Search and Seizure: Under this amendment, law enforcement cannot search a person or their property without a warrant or probable cause, protecting them from unwarranted invasions of privacy.
  • Freedom from Cruel and Unusual Punishment: This law prohibits excessive or barbaric punishments related to the crime committed.
  • Right to Due Process: With this principle, people accused of a crime should receive fair treatment, have the right to know the charges against them and be able to access legal representation.

The Civil Rights Act

The Civil Rights Act adds to the Constitution and its previous amendments by outlawing discrimination in employment. Employers cannot discriminate based on race, color, religion, national origin, and sex. While it advanced equality in the workplace, further interpretations and amendments have expanded its scope over time. Examples of these additions are gender identity, sexual orientation, age, pregnancy, and disability status.

California’s Added Protections

California offers more comprehensive civil rights protections through its California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). This legislation contains the same protections as the federal Civil Rights Act but also adds marital status, immigration status, genetic information, age, ancestry, primary language, military status, and medical conditions.

California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act also mandates businesses to provide reasonable accommodations to patrons who require them.

Despite the federal and Californian safeguards, civil rights violations can still occur. At The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC, we have the knowledge to help you if officers violate your rights.

When Law Enforcement Oversteps

While many believe law enforcement officers can play a role in maintaining public safety within communities, there are instances where officers overstep their authority or misuse it. When officers resort to excessive force or other misconduct, they cease to act with professionalism and restraint, undermining the people they swore to protect.

Violations of Trust and Safety

Police brutality occurs during bouts of unnecessary violence, unreasonable tactics, or excessive misconduct. These elements can show during various situations, such as:

  • Traffic Stops: Routine traffic stops can escalate if an officer uses excessive force during the interaction, like aggressive physical contact or unnecessarily deploying a taser or weapon.
  • Protests: When officers perceive crowded demonstrations as too intense, they may engage in widespread use of riot gear or tear gas on peaceful protestors. This course of action contradicts officers’ responsibilities to manage situations without resorting to disproportionate force.
  • Arrests: The act of apprehension should never involve more force than necessary. Neither party is safe when law enforcement refuses to follow this guideline. Using excessive physical force or violence during an arrest constitutes police brutality.

Helping Recognize Other Forms of Police Brutality

Police brutality is more than inflicting physical injury. Racial profiling, where officers target individuals based on their race or ethnicity, is discrimination and a rights violation. Additionally, even if no physical contact occurs, law enforcement can be incredibly damaging to an individual if they verbally abuse or intimidate them.

If you were in a situation where a law enforcement officer racially profiled, verbally abused, intimidated, or inflicted emotional, mental, or physical harm, you may have a case. We wholeheartedly back our clients and get results.

What to Do If You Are a Victim

One police brutality incident can be traumatic and disorienting. Your life may be affected for years. If you believe you or a loved one has been a victim, some initial steps you can take are:

  • Seek Medical Attention: Sustaining injuries from a law enforcement event are serious. Prioritize getting the medical care you need above all else. Document injuries with photos and keep all medical records.
  • Contact an Attorney: A skilled attorney can become your advocate for justice. This professional can advise you on legal rights and help explore potential courses of action.
  • File a Complaint: Check your local law enforcement agency or legal system for the official channels for reporting police misconduct. Filing a complaint can give you an additional record in your civil case.

Remember, you are not alone. There are resources available to you as a victim of police brutality. Contacting The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC can ensure you receive the resources you need.

Seeking Justice and Support

The aftermath of a police brutality event can overwhelm you. Some lasting effects can be physical injuries, emotional trauma, and fear for your safety. Understanding the weight of your situation and seeking support is crucial.

Even though the legal system can seem daunting, historical precedent exists when you want to seek justice. Many people have been in similar circumstances. These people have sought accountability from law enforcement. One potential course of action is filing a claim. In a successful claim, you can recover damages and compensation for losses incurred due to the incident.

Using 1983 and Bivens Claims

People seek different claims based on the level of law enforcement jurisdiction they deal with. A critical 1983 case set a path toward compensation for local or state officer brutality situations. Winning a 1983 claim involves proving the officer acted in their official capacity and violated your rights.

Outside of 1983 claims, Bivens claims focus on brutality by federal officers. People cannot bring these cases against departments, only individual officers.

If you win a 1983 or Bivens claim, you might receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Depending on the case type, a court may issue injunctions and punitive damages to punish the officer or department. In some cases, courts may award legal or attorney fees.

Understanding and Overcoming Qualified Immunity

A significant obstacle to many police brutality cases is qualified immunity. This legal doctrine can shield law enforcement from personal liability damages, even when you can prove they used excessive force.

Some people argue the doctrine is necessary for effective law enforcement. These individuals claim that officers frequently make split-second decisions, and a fear of lawsuits could hinder their ability to act decisively.

Critics of qualified immunity believe it creates a system that insulates law enforcement from accountability. These individuals claim that qualified immunity makes it difficult for police brutality victims to seek justice, even in cases where an officer uses excessive force. This sense of injustice can erode trust in law enforcement and the legal system.

To overcome qualified immunity in a police brutality claim, you must demonstrate that law enforcement unreasonably or excessively violated your established rights. The severity of the rights infringement must outweigh any threat or potential harm posed to the officer and others. Proving these elements can be challenging.

Additionally, it may be necessary to prove objective unreasonableness. This term means that even if an officer believed your rights were not clear, a different officer in the same circumstance would have known their actions were incorrect. This standard can be challenging to meet, but it is not impossible. For example, when an officer uses deadly force against an unarmed, non-threatening citizen, a court would likely consider their actions objectively unreasonable.

The Importance of Legal Representation

As you can see, navigating these obstacles can be immensely difficult. An experienced police brutality attorney must assess your circumstances, determine if qualified immunity applies, and develop a legal strategy to combat the challenge. You must understand the significant role legal representation has in these cases. An attorney can evaluate your situation, gather evidence, negotiate with law enforcement, and fight for your rights in court.

At The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC, we have the skills to complete all related legal tasks. If law enforcement violates your rights, you need an advocate who knows the legal system and how to get you the justice you deserve.

The Long-Term Impact of Police Brutality

Police brutality’s impact does not go away if your injuries heal. These events can leave behind lasting emotional and psychological effects on victims. Some victims experience symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, chronic fear, and feelings of isolation. Please remember that you can expect these emotional and psychological reactions, and help is available.

Seeking Education, Support, and Guidance

Educating yourself about your rights and legal options is crucial in order to heal from events like this. Understanding qualified immunity, the different types of claims, and the long-term impacts of these incidents can empower you to make informed decisions about your future.

There are legal resources to help you with a potential legal case, like The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC. Additionally, there are ways you can learn to healthily cope with the trauma from your incident. Helpful resources can include:

  • Therapy: Talking with a licensed therapist can help you process the emotional trauma you may have.
  • Police Brutality Support Groups: Connecting with others who have experienced similar situations can help you heal. These groups can provide a sense of community and shared understanding for members.

Suppose you enlist the assistance of a police brutality attorney and have trouble finding resources like therapy and support groups. In that case, they can help you find helpful non-legal organizations in Santa Ana.


Q: What Should an Officer Do Immediately After an Accusation of Police Brutality?

A: When an officer is accused of engaging in police brutality, they should immediately seek legal counsel who has experience dealing with these types of cases. In these moments, it’s important to not make any public statements or discuss what happened with any family, friends, or colleagues until advised by an attorney.

Any evidence that can help prove innocence needs to be properly collected, documented, and stored under the direction of an attorney to ensure that it will all be admissible in court. It’s also recommended that officers fully cooperate with any internal investigations and follow all procedures. This can help protect their rights and prevent any other allegations from arising.

Q: Can an Officer Be Held Personally Liable in Cases of Police Brutality?

A: There is the possibility that an officer can be held personally liable in civil cases if it is proven that they violated an individual’s civil rights. While officers are granted ‘qualified immunity’ that protects them, in some instances, from personal liability, it is not a guaranteed protection if there is evidence that the officer violated clearly established procedures.

This is where collecting evidence to support the notion that an officer acted reasonably and within procedure during the incident can help to prove their innocence. Having a defense attorney can be crucial to better understand the complexities of qualified immunity and how that might connect to the current case.

Q: How Can a Defense Attorney Counteract Negative Public Perceptions in Police Brutality Cases?

A: There are a few different tactics that a defense attorney can use to help manage the public perception of their client and the details of the case. For example, they could request a change of venue to avoid a jury that may be biased. They might also request a gag order to limit how much the media is able to learn and report on.

When appropriate, a defense attorney can emphasize an officer’s positive service record. They may also engage in community outreach initiatives once an innocent verdict is reached to help make the community aware of the case’s outcome. Other forms of strategic communication, such as press releases or public statements, can also help control the public story and ensure that everyone has access to the facts of the case.

Q: What Is the Impact of Body Cam Footage on a Defense?

A: Once officers were required to wear body cameras during their shifts, it has had a major influence on how well a court can understand exactly what happened during a specific incident.

In some cases, body camera footage has revealed true instances of police brutality. However, it has also been critical to help exonerate officers who were inaccurately accused of using excessive force. Overall, the footage from any body camera will be used in every case that has it, and it will likely contribute to the final verdict.

Guiding Your Path to Justice

Healing from police brutality takes time and support. Seeking justice takes a team experienced in these matters and ready to advocate for your rights. The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC, represent victims of police brutality and get people the help they need. If an officer violated your rights, contact our Santa Ana police brutality lawyer today for a consultation. We are here for you.


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