What can be done about an officer using excessive force while executing an arrest warrant?

I was outside the home of a family member when detectives showed up to serve an arrest warrant. I was tazed and placed in handcuffs but did not get arrested.

Asked on September 27, 2011 under Criminal Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you believe the officer used excessive force, you may sue the officer, the police department, and the municipality for compensation. Note that such suits usually do not win, but that does not mean you cannot win, if the facts are sufficiently in your favor. You should consult with an attorney who has brought similar suits in the past, if possible; if not, experienced criminal defense counsel would be a good choice. Note that if you have not suffered long lasting or permanent injuries, then even if the officer was legally in the wrong, it may not be worth bringing a suit; the compensation you can recover is related to the extent of your injury, and with little injury, you could spend more on the lawyer than you could recover. You may also file a complaint with the police department about the officer's behavior.

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