Reporting Police Misconduct in Arizona
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Police brutality and excessive force are issues that have been brought to the forefront of our minds lately. But they are not the only form of police misconduct. It involves all illegal or unethical actions or the violation of individuals’ constitutional rights by police officers while they are conducting their duties. While we would hope our men and women in blue would treat all individuals with respect and integrity as the uniform demands, the unfortunate truth is this does not always happen. If you are ever stopped by a police officer or interrogated in Arizona, you should know the laws that protect you as well as your rights as a citizen.
What is considered police misconduct?
The following is a partial list of what qualifies as police misconduct. If you observe or experience any conduct that appears or seems unfitting for a police officer, you should always report it.
- Coerced false confession: in any way coercing or inducing an admission of guilt.
- Intimidation: intentional behavior that causes an individual to fear harm or injury.
- False arrest: holding an individual in custody without probable cause.
- False imprisonment: wrongfully detaining an individual.
- Falsification of evidence: fabricating, forging or tainting evidence.
- Spoliation of evidence: intentional, reckless, or negligent withholding, hiding, altering, or destroying of evidence.
- Police perjury: giving false testimony in order to make a criminal case.
- Witness tampering: attempting to improperly influence, alter or prevent the testimony of witnesses within criminal or civil proceedings.
- Police brutality: behavior that causes physical or mental injury, property damage, or death or can be classified as physical or verbal harassment.
- Racial profiling: targeting individuals based on race, ethnicity, religion or national origin.
- Unwarranted searches or seizure of property: entering a person’s property or taking their property without lawful cause.
In addition, if you observe any of the following while a police officer is on or off duty, you may legally report it: mistreatment of animals; sexual misconduct; unethical use of badge or ID; under the influence of alcohol or drugs (on duty); or bribing.
How do I file a report of police misconduct in Arizona?
If you have knowledge of or witness any conduct by a police officer that violates state or federal law, or that violates departmental policies and procedures, you can file a complaint through the Arizona Department of Public Safety. It is important to note that falsely reporting police misconduct can result in criminal or civil charges against you.
Defense Attorney in Arizona
If you believe that police misconduct has occurred during the process of your stopping, arrest or detainment in Phoenix or anywhere throughout Arizona, the first step is to contact Phoenix defense attorney Todd Coolidge. We will carefully and compassionately listen to your claim, and if you have a case, we are prepared to file a lawsuit and represent your interests along every step of the way.