Notary Public & Legal Support Network Blog

Monday, March 24, 2008

Police Departments – Internal Affairs

My Network works with a few organizations that exist to deter police misconduct. One of the best known organizations is the Police Complaint Center (PCC).

A former client of ours asks, “I have been the victim of police harassment in my town of xxxxxx. Every time I complain, the internal affairs department says my case has no merit! What can I do?”

In small towns, an internal affairs department usually consists of one to three police officers who supposedly investigate complaints of police brutality/misconduct. They’re a waste of time and taxpayer money!

Although the so called “Internal Affairs Department” has concluded that you weren’t harassed [or the victim of police brutality] does not mean you are legally prevented from bringing a cause of action against the police officer and/or the police department in a court of law.

The IA report will be brought up as evidence against your lawsuit; however, you can easily persuade a jury that the IA report has been “sugarcoated” in favor of the police officer. ---- This is why the IA reports are useless! -----

For example, let’s say a guest of yours falls through a weak floor that you knew was unsafe and that you intended to fix. Since you own the home, the party who got hurt sues you for their pain and suffering and medical bills. Your friend, who also lives with you on the property, investigates the matter and writes you a letter saying that the injury sustained by the plaintiff [person suing you] was not the direct result of your negligence and/or the poor condition of your property. ---- Do you really believe this letter (a report) will help your case? Of course not!

So, in conclusion, don’t let a sugarcoated IA report discourage you from filing civil or criminal charges against a police officer and/or police department.

P.S.: I should add that you don’t need to be a police officer to file criminal charges against someone.


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