Pocatello attorneys have charged Idaho police officer Steven Westfall with unnecessary assault by a policeman causing what appears to be a head injury. These charges are in connection to the arrest of James Rutherford on July 10th, 2015. The incident was caught on a police dash-cam. Westfall has been placed on paid administrative leave, pending a trail. A full investigation of the department is also ongoing. The dash-cam footage showing the incident has been released.
In recent months there has been a rise of incidents regarding police officers going too far and violating citizens rights. While police officers have broad powers to fulfill their duties there is a limit to how far they can go. There are multiple causes of action regarding civil rights violations due to police officer misconduct. The most common claims brought against officers are false arrest or imprisonment, malicious prosecution and excessive or unreasonable force.
In excessive force cases the intentions of the officer does not matter. If the intention was malicious but reasonable force was used there is no civil violation and the claim made will be dismissed. The opposite is also true, if the intention was good but excessive force was used, then there is a claim and it won’t be dismissed. In these civil rights cases against officers, it is very important to visit a doctor and get proper documentation of any injuries.
This means you should take photos of your injuries. Injuries caused by excessive or unreasonable force can be very serious, many claims involve some type of head injury. It is important to understand and know the symptoms that can be associated with head injuries specifically brain injuries. In civil rights cases as with personal injury cases a lawyer is able to help make sure that you have all the documentation and things you need to get the best results for your case.