Civil Liability of the Police Essay

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24-7-custom-writing-serviceCivil Liability of the Police Assignment

Civil Liability of the Police Paper

 

 

Misconduct among police officers either inadvertently or intentionally is commonplace. When such misconduct results in injuries, damages, or wrongful deaths of members of the public, the law provides for the pursuance of a civil action against the individual officers for compensation or damages. One of the main federal laws regarding the civil liability of police officers is Section 1983. This law provides for civil rights claims alleging use of excessive force, unlawful search, arrest, or seizure, failure to protect from suicidal action or attack, malicious prosecution, high-speed chases resulting in injuries, denial of adequate medical cover while under the custody of the police, and harsh conditions of confinement. This civil rights law, therefore, provides remedies to individuals who have been deprived of their federal statutory or constitutional rights under the color of state law (Carmen & Hemmens, 2016).

Some of the requirements for a Section 1983 case to be proven include a proof that the defendant law enforcement officer acted under the color of state law, and that while so acting, they deprived the plaintiff of their federal statutory or constitutional rights (Bersani & Condon, 2016). Moreover, for an action under this Section to succeed, the plaintiff has to demonstrate to the court that the omissions or acts of the defendant were intentional and that as a result of the defendant's actions or omissions, the plaintiff suffered some damages or injuries (Schwart & Urbonya, 2008). The element of a defendant acting under the color of state law means that the claimant has to prove that the individual police officer was using the power that is granted to them by virtue of state law at the time of committing the act or omission. In short, the plaintiff has to show that the defendant was using or misusing the authority of the state or was clothed with the authority of the state at the material time (Schwartz & Urbonya, 2008). However, it has been held in Georgia v. McCollum (1992) that the fact that a police officer was pursuing a private objective at the time he or she committed the alleged misconduct in itself does not preclude the court from coming to a conclusion that they were acting under the color of state law.  According to Bersani and Condon (2016), some of the factors that are to be considered by courts in determining whether or not a police officer was acting under the color of state law include whether the officer was on duty at the material time or was off-duty but purported to exercise official authority, and whether there are regulations requiring law enforcement officers to be on duty at all times. ......................GET A PLAGIARISM FREE COPY