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Chesterfield County Law Enforcement Abuse Attorneys

No matter the subject, some police officers view protesters as directly challenging their authority. Agencies and officers can respond to this challenge with aggressive tactics, such as unlawful detention and mistreatment of protestors. Fortunately, state and federal civil rights laws protect everyone involved in a protest in Virginia, including protesters, bystanders, and press members.

In Chesterfield County, law enforcement abuse of power during Palestine protests can leave lawful protestors and innocent bystanders with unjust police records and serious injuries. When you are subjected to an unlawful arrest, police mistreatment, or injuries by officers, you have rights. Contact Commonwealth Law Group for a free consultation.

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Police Abuse of Power in Chesterfield County During Protests

Cities and public schools have a lot of power to regulate protests. For instance, they can require protestors to obtain a license and can control the place and time of protests. They also have the right, or even a duty, to protect property.

Unfortunately, protestors may face an abuse of power by law enforcement in Chesterfield County. But if officers go outside the bounds set by the U.S. Constitution, federal laws, and Virginia state laws, your Chesterfield County civil rights lawyer can pursue a claim for damages.

Legal Rights of Protesters

Protesters always have the same legal rights, regardless of their cause. These legal protections are so important that they have been enshrined into the U.S. Constitution.

The First Amendment protects your right to association. You also have the right to freely express your opinion under this amendment. As a result, the government cannot deny a permit simply because of your message.

Once the protest is underway, additional constitutional provisions restrict what the police can or cannot do. Some ways the police might violate Palestine protestors’ rights include the following:

  • Disrupting permitted protests
  • Arresting lawful protestors, bystanders, and members of the media
  • Holding protestors without charging them
  • Focusing enforcement on protestors of certain races, religions, or genders
  • Using excessive force against protestors

The final violation, excessive force, is only vaguely defined under the restrictions against cruel and unusual punishment. However, Virginia has several laws that help explain what the police can or cannot do.

Excessive Force Against Palestine Protestors

Virginia law restricts when officers can use lethal force. Typically, officers must believe lethal force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury and act reasonably under the totality of the circumstances.

Other ways officers may use excessive force against Palestine protesters include:

  • Shooting firearms against unarmed protesters
  • Using chokeholds on those who pose no threat
  • Firing non-lethals against retreating protesters

If you have experienced these or other abusive police tactics, speak to a Chesterfield County police abuse attorney from Commonwealth Law Group immediately.

How Commonwealth Law Group Can Help

U.S. law gives ordinary citizens the right to pursue claims for monetary damages when state officials violate their constitutional rights. This case, called a section 1983 claim, can result in an order against the police or another governmental entity to compensate you for your losses.

Can the Police Break Up a Protest?

Yes, but only under some circumstances. The police can stop a protest and arrest protesters who are:

  • Trespassing on private property
  • Vandalizing or destroying property
  • Blocking traffic
  • Assaulting officers or other protesters
  • Protesting in an unlawful time or place

For example, a campus Palestine protest might violate laws if the protesters set up a tent city on the quad or occupy the university buildings. But police cannot arrest protesters during a lawful protest where no laws were broken simply because they disagree with the message.

What Happens if the Police Roughed Me Up After Arresting Me?

A Chesterfield County civil rights attorney can file a section 1983 claim against police officers who use excessive force. You will need to provide evidence that you did not pose a threat to the officers by fighting or resisting arrest.

Cell phone videos and media reports can often provide the footage you need to show the police violated your civil rights.

Do the Police Need to Provide Medical Care While I’m in Custody?

Yes. Apart from any claim you might have for injuries caused by the police, you might also have a claim if the police were deliberately indifferent to your medical needs.

For example, suppose that you were hit in the head as police broke up a Palestine protest. You do not know who hit you, but you do know you need medical care. The police violate your civil rights as a prisoner when they fail to provide adequate medical care.

Contact Our Chesterfield County Police Abuse Lawyers Today

Our civil rights attorneys can help after the police violate your rights by unlawfully arresting, mistreating, or injuring you. Contact Commonwealth Law Group for a free consultation to discuss the compensation you can seek today.

“Great law group. Everyone was kind and down to earth. Made me feel like I was their only client. Very attentive to me and my case.”

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If you have been injured at work or through the negligence of another individual or entity, contact us at (804) 999-9999 or or use the form below to connect with our legal team. We will fight to get you the justice you deserve.