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Virginia Police Brutality Law Firm

Police brutality in Virginia - This Has To Stop!

Police officers are not above the law!  Police are required to obey the same law that they enforce.  A badge and a gun does not give a police officer in Virginia the right to use excessive force – when they do, they are guilty of assault and battery.  Police Brutality in Virginia must stop.  You need a skilled Virginia law firm that sue police for police brutality and police misconduct.  The Richmond Police Brutality law firm is Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, PC.

Police Officers Have a Duty to De-escalate The Situation for Minor Misdemeanor & Traffic Cases

When a citizen is faced with unreasonable force by police officers he is placed instinctively into a fight or flight mentality.  This is why gas-lighting and blaming the citizen is inappropriate.  The police have a duty to de-escalate simple misdemeanor and traffic stops, so that citizens are not pushed to fight or flight.  Unreasonable force triggers the legal right of citizens to fight or flight using reasonable force.  See below for more explanation.

Excessive Force is Unreasonable - Police Brutality

Excessive use of force is any force used in an illegal arrest or unreasonable use of force in a lawful arrest or detention.

"Reasonable Force" - An Objective Standard.

Perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene.

The “reasonableness” of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.”

What factors are considered to determine if police force was unreasonable?

Each Case is Unique

Courts look to the facts and circumstances of each case. 

Key Factors:

The key factors for an objective standard are the following:

  1. the severity of the crime at issue,
  2. whether the suspect poses an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others, and
  3. whether he is actively resisting arrest or

Leading Federal Case Law on Police Brutality

Federal Law

This standard was set out by the United States Supreme Court in Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 396, 109 S. Ct. 1865, 1872 (1989). Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 559 (1979). See Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S., at 8-9 (the question is “whether the totality of the circumstances justifie[s] a particular sort of . . . seizure”).

The “reasonableness” of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.”

State Law

Assault & Battery

A lawful arrest, when made with unlawful force, may be resisted. Palmer v. Commonwealth, 143 Va. 592, 602-03, 130 S.E. 398, 401 (1925); Foote v. Commonwealth, 11 Va. App. 61, 66, 396 S.E.2d 851, 856 (1990). “An arrest utilizing excessive force is a battery because that touching is not justified or excused and therefore is unlawful.” Gnadt v. Commonwealth, 27 Va. App. 148, 151, 497 S.E.2d 887, 888 (1998). The officers in this case used reasonable force to subdue the defendant when he refused to submit. The deputies did not use excessive force by ratcheting the force employed when nothing less brought the defendant under control. The defendant was not entitled to resist his lawful arrest made with lawful force.
McCracken v. Commonwealth, 39 Va. App. 254, 262, 572 S.E.2d 493, 497 (2002)

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Virginia’s Personal Injury & Civil Rights Law Firm
105 S 1st Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

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