The Atlanta Police Department does outstanding work for the benefit and protection of the city. Yet not all police involvement ends positively – sometimes, arrests take a dark path. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) estimates a total of 1,900 arrest-related deaths around the U.S. in 2015. Injurious and fatal police shootings, and other forms of excessive force or brutality, leave families in Atlanta devastated. For these types of claims, come to lawyers who have experience. Come to Butler Wooten & Peak LLP.
Lethal force is an action that police officers should only take under conditions of extreme necessity. Officers should use lethal, or deadly, force only as a last resort in desperate situations. They should first exhaust all lesser means of controlling or detaining the suspect. Sadly, this is not always what happens. Some police officers are poorly trained. Others make bad decisions under stress. Still others are grossly negligent or even criminal in their intentions. No matter what the case, seek help from attorneys who care and who will listen to your plight after a police shooting in Atlanta.
By law, “deadly force” is any force that an individual uses with the knowledge that it could (or reasonably might) cause death or serious bodily harm to another person. A police officer using his or her gun on a suspect is an example of deadly force. The officer reasonably should know that the gunshot can kill or seriously injure the victim. Before using this form of deadly force, officers should try everything else in their power – other ways to detain the individual, such as pepper spray, batons, or one of the several other tools officers have at their disposal while on duty.
Failure to exhaust all other options, or to use deadly force without reason, is negligent at best and criminal at worst. Victims of unnecessary or discriminatory police shootings in Atlanta have the right to explore their available legal options. They may be eligible for compensation from the APD or another party for the costs of injuries or the death of a spouse or child. There may also be grounds to file a criminal claim against the officer. Speaking with an attorney is the best way to explore your rights and legal opportunities.
In our time in the legal arena, we’ve recognized that most police officers in Atlanta are ethical. They work hard at difficult and dangerous positions, and most of their efforts to protect the city are successful. However, police officers also wield a great deal of control over the citizens they encounter. Abuse of this power is exactly what leads to egregious acts like wrongful shootings, excessive force, and inappropriate use of deadly force. If you or a loved one became the victim of such acts from police officers you should be able to trust with your protection, our attorneys can help.
The personal injury lawyers at Butler Wooten & Peak LLP have seen firsthand the physical, emotional, and financial outcomes of police shootings in Atlanta. We understand that these situations can spark feelings of betrayal and mistrust toward our officers. We also know how difficult it can be to pursue claims against the APD and receive financial compensation for losses. That’s why we’ve made it our duty to go up against police misconduct and brutality on behalf of injured clients. We go the distance to help parties that feel they have nowhere else to turn. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation about your police shooting experience in Atlanta.