Physically Hurt By Police During an Arrest?

Posted by: Wiley Lavender on Friday, July 10, 2020

In these trying times, a person might find themselves being arrested by the police. Even worse, being physically hurt by police during an arrest.

In New Jersey, sworn law enforcement officers have the authority to use necessary force to accomplish lawful ends. New Jersey law states that any full-time, permanently appointed municipal police officer has full power of arrest for any crime committed in his or her presence. Also, the officer has the authority to make an arrest anywhere in New Jersey.

The use of force upon or toward the person of another is justifiable when the officer is making or assisting in an arrest and the he reasonably believes that such force is immediately necessary to effect a lawful arrest. The police cannot use excessive physical force when making an arrest.

Examples of physical force to effect a lawful arrest are: wrestling a resisting subject to the ground, using wrist locks or arm locks, striking with the hands or feet, or other similar methods of hand-to-hand confrontation. However, it is unlawful to use these methods in an excessive manner.

New Jersey does have a Use of Force policy developed by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office in 1985. However, it has not updated its use-of-force policy in two decades.

Current New Jersey Attorney General Grewal has stated that he intends to issue a law enforcement directive revising the Use of Force Policy before the end of 2020.

You should take the following steps if physically hurt by police during an arrest:

1. In a loud and clear voice, tell the arresting officers that you have sustained an injury. Further, demand immediate medical attention. Do not let the police deny you medical treatment.
2. When receiving medical treatment, tell the doctor exactly how you received your injuries. If possible, include the names of the person or persons who injured you.
3. Describe in detail the injuries that you received to the health care provider treating you.
4. While you are receiving medical attention, take, or have taken by a medical professional, photographs of your injuries.
5. Demand to speak to your attorney.

Call us if you have been physically hurt by police during an arrest. The attorneys at Wiley Lavender, P.C. will provide appropriate advice and counsel.