How do I defend myself against police brutality? 26 Answers as of June 07, 2013

If you are in a holding cell, bleeding from the hands of the police, can you subpoena the tape from the holding cell? Also, aren't you supposed to get medical attention?

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Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
Yes you should be entitled to medical attention. You should hire Civil Rights (not a criminal attorney although some attorneys do both) attorney to see if you have a case for Police brutality.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/21/2011
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
I'd recommend retaining a civil rights attorney who has experience with police misconduct cases; preferably a lawyer with a federal bar license who has sued the state before. These types of cases often involve fairly serious injury claims for large amounts of money, are fact specific, and may drag on for years. Speaking generally, people in police custody who have been injured and who believe that the police may have used excessive force or violated their constitutional rights have a couple of different options. First, there is usually some type of administrative process a person could use to file a complaint against the individual officer or guard. There is usually some type of hearing involved and the particular office usually has someone on staff who handles internal investigations. Second, they could potentially file a lawsuit, depending on their facts, usually in the Federal courts if the conduct involved a state or county employee. The state has government immunity for certain types of civil actions and state law further limits tort claims, so finding an experienced attorney who handles these types of cases is very important.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/8/2011
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
You want to talk to a civil rights attorney. Yes you should be able to subpoena the tapes and yes you are supposed to get medical attention, if necessary.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/8/2011
The Law Office of Cindy Barton
The Law Office of Cindy Barton | Cindy Barton
Yes you can subpoena the tape in the holding cell.If it is apparent that you have been injured the police are supposed to get you medical attention.They can however, require that you pay for that medical care.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 9/8/2011
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
Usually an injured prisoner would expect to be treated for his injuries. Also, depending upon the jurisdiction, there may be video recordings of the booking areas of a county jail. Your attorney should be able to subpoena those videos if they exist. I would first consult with an attorney to protect your rights. This would typically be a civil suit, but could also involve criminal liability if the officer committed an assault or battery.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 9/7/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Yes, the video would be helpful. It could be a civil rights claim, and the incident should be reviewed by an attorney who handles such matter.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/7/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    In you are in custody and in need of medical attention, it should be provided to you. You may be able to get a copy of the tape through a FOIA request. If you believe you have been wronged, your should seek the help of an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/7/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    You can only issue subpoenas if there is an active case. You will need to speak with a civil attorney to see if there are any civil claims or civil rights claims that you can file. If you currently have a criminal attorney, speak to him about the situation to see if that is something he handles or if he can recommend somebody.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/7/2011
    The Roden Law Firm, PLC
    The Roden Law Firm, PLC | Gerald Roden
    I would hire a good attorney who can subpoena jail tape; multiple records and the officers disciplinary file and job history.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/7/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    You can, and should, make a complaint to the police departments' internal affairs / police misconduct department.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/7/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    Yes. You need to post this to a list that answers civil rights/police brutality questions.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/7/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    Yes you can subpoena the tape if you need it in a current case. Yes the authories have to provide you with medical services if you need them. It is very difficult to prove any police brutally in any case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/7/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    Hire an attorney who handles cases of police brutality, you certainly sound like you may have a civil rights case for a lawsuit before the Federal bar, but of course, you are giving me your side of the story, and without knowing the police side, cannot give a certain opinion in your case.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/7/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    If you believe that you were mistreated by police during your arrest and/or denied access to medical attention, you may have the basis for a civil suit against the officers who arrested you and the department. This is something that would need to be discussed with an attorney to go over the specific details of your case. If you are interested in seeking legal action in this matter, attorneys are generally willing to handle civil suits on a contingency basis which means that you do not have to pay them until you receive a settlement or judgment in your favor. If you would like to pursue this matter in greater detail, I invite you to contact my firm at the information on this page for a free case evaluation at the information on this page.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 9/7/2011
    Watkins Law Office
    Watkins Law Office | Bob Watkins
    Some departments have video in the cell areas but not all. You can request it. If you feel you were assaulted by the police you may be able to file a civil action in federal court.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 9/7/2011
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    Yes, you need to google a civil rights civil attorney in your city to file a lawsuit against the police, officer and agency. You can not do this by yourself. Only a skilled trial attorney will know how to do this.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/7/2011
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C.
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C. | Carlos Gonzalez
    If you were injured by an officer I'd suggest filing a lawsuit, contact our office we handle such cases all the time... These cases require no out of pocket expenses on your end.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/7/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    If there are tapes they can be subpoenaed. Some departments have no video and some routinely destroy after 30 days or less. You may want to send a letter to police request the tape be preserved and a copy sent to you.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 9/7/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    You really need to consult with an attorney in person so you can review the facts of your case. You have not given me enough info.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/6/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    The answer to both of those questions is yes. If you were assaulted by the police, you should retain an attorney to pursue a civil rights violation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/6/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    You can foil the police tapes. However, it sounds as though you have a civil rights / assault civil case against the police.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/6/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Yes, there may be a good case against the officers and the police department.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2013
    Stevens Law Office, PLC
    Stevens Law Office, PLC | Ryan Stevens
    Yes and yes. You can get the tape; it is potentially obtainable through a public records request. Also, if you are charged with a criminal offense, it is usually the subject of disclosure. Lastly, yes you are entitled to medical attention under certain circumstances. If you believe you were a victim of a civil rights violation, you may want to look into a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 9/6/2011
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    Yes twice, You need to talk to a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/7/2013
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    The old expression is that a man who represents himself has a fool for a lawyer is true. You cannot represent yourself any more than you could do your own surgery. If you have the funds you should retain an experienced criminal attorney. If you are indigent you will have an attorney appointed to handle your case.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/6/2011
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