In Louisiana and across the nation, the problem of police brutality has grown so widespread that people – especially minorities – almost automatically reflexively prepare to be abused when they are arrested or simply have any type of interaction with law enforcement. Of course, it should not be this way. Unfortunately, it often is. To the benefit of people who might not have been believed before, there is a rising acceptance that law enforcement behavior needs to change. Part of that is because video evidence is now available to prove the allegations made against police. In addition, investigations are taken more seriously to assess what officers have said happened and what the arrested person claims was an incident of abuse. Recently, it was reported how extensive police misconduct allegations were in the state. Those who have been mistreated in this way should be cognizant of these issues so they can take steps to hold law enforcement accountable.

American Civil Liberties Union goes on the offensive about Louisiana police brutality

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is looking at more than 400 alleged incidents of law enforcement violations against people who claim to have been mistreated. Around 30 cases have been filed against specific officers. It has also heard a massive number of stories about how officers have gone beyond appropriate behavior when going about their jobs. Specific areas – including Jefferson Parish – were mentioned as acting in a racist way. That parish alone has six lawsuits against it. In one case, a man who said he was subjected to police abuse in Lafayette City Parish will be allowed to pursue his case after the U.S. District court for the Western District said there was sufficient evidence to move forward.

According to the ACLU, its “Justice Lab” is having positive results in taking law enforcement to task for overstepping its bounds. The system itself is deemed a problem that must be completely overhauled. Justice Lab is filing lawsuits related to arrests that were made in retaliation, after people were racially profiled and if there was excessive use of force. More than two dozen police departments were subjected to lawsuits. Fifteen parishes were also targeted. Five claims were made against the Louisiana State Police.

Among the allegations was one man who was arrested for shoplifting. He complied with officers but was handcuffed in a physically awkward way for at least a half-hour before being brought to the station house despite him informing officers he had a medical condition. It was made worse due to this treatment. Others have claimed to have had their civil rights violated by being assaulted. A family is saying their loved one died after being unnecessarily shot.

Police brutality should not be accepted as part of daily life

Drawing attention to law enforcement overstepping its authority is undoubtedly a positive step to elicit change. Still, this is a long, arduous road that people need to cover to put a stop to it. Even if a person has been arrested and may have committed the crime, that does not mean the police were justified in violating the person’s civil rights with abusiveness, violence and police brutality. To lodge a defense and take law enforcement to task for these violations, it is imperative to have guidance from the start. This can be accomplished by consulting with professionals who know how to investigate these claims, gather evidence and pursue a case.