How to Protect Yourself from Excessive Force During A Police Stop

How to Protect Yourself from Excessive Force During A Police Stop

excessive force

How to Protect Yourself from Excessive Force During A Police Stop

George Floyd died a slow and painful death. He pleaded with the officer to get off his neck so he could breathe, but he only lifted his knee after 9 minutes. By that time, Floyd had already suffocated. While reforms are underway to prevent repeat incidents, that doesn’t mean you are safe. Chicago’s excessive force lawyers will tell you the same.

How to Protect Yourself from Excessive Force During a Police Stop

You should still take measures to protect yourself from excessive force by the police if you are pulled over. Remain calm, and you can have a solid defense case if you are harmed during the stop. Here are some things you can do to reduce risks:

  • Stop your car in a safe spot as soon as you are asked to pull over.
  • Turn off the car, switch on the light, open the window, and place both hands on the wheel so you can show you are not concealing anything. If you are in the passenger seat, place both hands on the dashboard.
  • Take out your driver’s license, registration, and insurance proof.
  • Do not make sudden movements; always keep your hands where the officer can see them.

Justifications for resisting arrest because of police brutality or excessive force are rare due to specific exceptions that prevent people from resisting arrest. These include the following:

  • You have to stop resisting if the officer stops using unwarranted force.
  • You must stop fighting back if the officer stops using excessive force.
  • You are not justified in resisting arrest if you did something that makes excessive force necessary.

In this case, you are damned if you resist and damned if you don’t. Experienced Chicago excessive force lawyers can defend you against these tricky charges.

What You Can Do If You Witness Excessive Force (Police Brutality)

You don’t have to be in the vehicle to take a stand against police abuse. If you witness officers using excessive force on someone, you can help them by collecting video evidence. Here is what you can do:

  • Use your phone to record the incident while standing at a safe distance. You have the right to do this if you don’t interfere or are close enough to obstruct their movements.
  • Don’t hide your phone while recording. Your recordings are protected under the First Amendment.
  • Police officers need a warrant to acquire personal video recordings. Plus, they cannot delete these or any pictures you take. If you are asked to stop recording or hand over your phone, decline politely and firmly. Say you do not give your consent to hand over your phone and remind them that your rights are protected under the First Amendment.

Contact Michael D. Ettinger & Associates for a Consultation Today

If you were a victim of police brutality, contact our defense lawyers at Michael D. Ettinger & Associates. We have extensive experience defending people like you and have over 70 years of combined experience working on excessive force cases.

If you wish to sue the officer who harmed you during the stop, you need a strong defense strategy. Contact our Cook County excessive force attorneys for a consultation today. We will devise a plan to protect your rights and best interests. This includes collecting evidence from witnesses who may have recorded the incident. The faster you reach out to us, the better.