Understanding The Most Common Forms of Police Misconduct

Posted: 1st August 2023 16:48

Police have a duty to protect their communities. Unfortunately, some law enforcement officers do not follow the prescribed rules or the law, abuse their power, and do not pay any attention to the rights of the people they interact with. When police officers take improper actions, they are said to have been involved in police misconduct. While police misconduct can present in numerous ways, some are more common than others. It is these that we will look at in this article.

Unlawful Search and Seizures

All United States citizens are protected by the Fourth Amendment from unlawful search and seizure. This law protects the person, their property, and their belongings, including electronic devices.

Police officers must have probable cause, obtain consent, or present a lawful want to search a person or their property. If they do not, any evidence collected will be thrown out because the law enforcement officers violated the individual’s Fourth Amendment rights when obtaining it.

Police Brutality

Sometimes called excessive use of force, police brutality involves using more force than necessary when apprehending a suspect or controlling a situation. Police may use excessive force, unnecessary physical violence, or even tasers or batons inappropriately.

We have also seen numerous cases where the police have used excessive force by shooting a suspect or victim and the individual passing away.

Excessive use of force remains a cruel reality of our society, and we should hold all the police officers involved in these heinous acts responsible. 

The best way is to record incidents when we see them and work with experienced lawyers to file lawsuits for police misconduct resulting in injury or death. These are some of the best ways to hold police officers responsible for their actions and to get their victims the justice they deserve.

Wrongful or False Arrests

Police must arrest suspects they think are likely to have committed a crime. However, police get it wrong, sometimes out of malice and sometimes through innocent mistakes. In such cases, that is a wrongful or false arrest.

Additionally, police must have reasonable suspicion that a person is about to or is committing a crime. In such cases, police must provide reasonable probable cause for arresting the individual. If they do not and then arrest the person and detain them, they could be held responsible for wrongful arrest and sued for it.

Sometimes wrongful or false arrests have a racial element to them. Some police officers target individuals based on race, ethnicity, or nationality. They do this without considering their behavior or any specific information they have received indicating their involvement in criminal activity.

Fabricating Evidence

Some police officers will do everything possible to close a case, even if that means fabricating evidence. They can create, manipulate, or even plant evidence to justify an arrest or prosecution. They do this even in cases where the evidence is not accurate for the charge or does not exist.


Most police officers are great people who do excellent jobs at keeping their communities safe. However, a few engage in police misconduct and should be held liable for their actions and the consequences of these actions.