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How to know if you might be a victim of excessive use of force

The Chicago Police Department has a policy against excessive use of force, but they also have a reputation for harming citizens throughout our community, especially those in racial and ethnic minority groups.

Despite having a policy against using excessive force, the officers within the CPD don’t always follow the rules. Read below to consider whether you have been a victim of excessive force.

Was the officer acting in self-defense?

According to the U.S. Commission of Civil Rights, police officers should operate with the highest standards of professionalism and accountability. Self-defense may be a reason that police officers claim they are allowed to use force. However, if you believe that the police officer in your case was not protecting themselves when they injured you, you may be the victim.

Was the officer acting in defense of others?

Similar to the above, the officer may try to justify their use of force by saying they were protecting the rights of bystanders or potential victims. On the other hand, if you experienced a routine traffic stop with no bystanders around and were forcefully detained, you may have a case.

Were you obeying the officer’s direct orders?

Sometimes police officers use force after giving a direct command to an individual who then resists or does not comply. If you were obeying the officers’ instructions and they still handled the situation violently, they may have violated your rights.

If you are feeling uncertain about what the officer did or believe that they mistreated you, you have options to determine the facts of the case and fight for your rights. You are not alone, and you deserve to have your rights protected.

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