Arlington police officer Dylan Eckstrom is accused of using excessive force when he lifted a then-15-year-old girl a foot off the ground and drove her, back-first, into the pavement. Julie and Kirk Perry, the parents of the girl who says she was “body-slammed” during a melee at an end-of-summer party have filed a federal lawsuit against the officer. A cellphone video shows the officer forcing the girl to the ground. Eckstrom is also accused of scraping the girl’s face on the pavement, causing scarring, and pepper-spraying her face at close range, which caused pain in her open wounds, the lawsuit says.
The girl was charged with fighting in public after a melee broke out Aug. 8 at 1010 Collins, an entertainment and events center, when a private party was shut down early.
Law Enforcement officers generally have extensive authority to carry out their duties. The Constitution and other laws, however, place limits on how far police can go in enforcing the law. Many times in Jacksonville, police officers sometimes go too far, violating the rights of citizens. When this happens, the victim of the misconduct may find remedy through federal and state laws.
A primary purpose of the nation’s civil rights laws is to protect citizens from abuses by the government, including police misconduct. When law enforcement act outside the confines of carefully the rules, procedures and policies already in place, suspects, codefendants, innocent bystanders and fellow officers may be injured. Many of these actions include:
– Vehicle accidents
– Physical blows – whether from fists, kicks or as the result of being forcibly subdued with a tackle or other full-contact maneuver
– Baton strikes
– Chemical sprays (usually mace or pepper spray)
– Bites from K-9 officers
Jacksonville’s Excessive force cases typically receive the most public media attention of Its cases, because of the resulting serious physical injury or death of excessive force seem the most outrageous,. Whether the officer’s use of force was reasonable depends on the surrounding facts and circumstances. The officer’s intentions or motivations are not relevant. If the amount of force is considered reasonable, the officer’s intentions will not be considered. However, if the officer had good intentions, but used unreasonable force, the excessive force claim will not be dismissed.
Attorneys representing the accused law enforcement for excessive force will raise a defense of qualified immunity. This defense exists to prevent police officers from fear of legal prosecution in enforcing the law. The defense will defeat a claim against the officer if the officer’s conduct did not violate a clearly established constitutional or statutory right.
In order to win a Jacksonville excessive force civil rights claim, one must prove that the actions of the police officer exceeded reasonable bounds, infringed upon the victim’s constitutional rights, and produced some injury or damages to the victim. Civil rights laws allow attorney fees and compensatory and punitive damages as incentives for injured parties to enforce their rights.
In many cases of police misconduct, the law enforcement officers will attempt to cover up their crime by falsely increasing the severity of the criminal charges against the victim of their excessive force. One involved in a situation like this should not delay in obtaining an experienced Jacksonville police misconduct defense attorney to fight the case and ensure that one does not suffer at the hands of a powerful State-operated legal system.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
Additional Source:Lawsuit filed against Arlington officer accused of ‘body-slamming’ teen, Mitch Mitchell, The Star-Telegram