What Is Police Brutality?

Police brutality is the use of force well beyond that which is necessary in situations when police officers deal with civilians, states The Law Dictionary. Police officers engage in brutality through actions such as physical or verbal abuse, false arrests, sexual abuse, racial profiling or improper use of tasers.

An example of police brutality through the use of excessive force is the actions of Lindrith Tsoodle, a police officer in North Dakota, who was convicted in separate cases of brutality for physically assaulting suspects while they were restrained, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Officers Eric Walters and Franklin Brown pleaded guilty in federal court to using excessive force by repeatedly tasering a disabled woman after she no longer posed a threat to their safety, explains the FBI. Police brutality in the form of sexual abuse occurred in the case of Ramon Borbon, a police officer in Arizona, who, while in uniform, illegally restrained, threatened and sexually assaulted a woman, notes the office of the Arizona Attorney General.

Police have engaged in police brutality through the use of excessive force since police forces were formed, according to The Law Dictionary. It is often difficult to prove brutality has taken place, as officers are allowed to use force when necessary. People who believe they are the victims of police brutality should write down the names of all witnesses, take pictures of any injuries, get medical evidence from a medical professional and hire an attorney to file a complaint.