A police brutality case in Susquehanna Valley has been the focus of national attention for quite some time. It recently became obvious that a settlement has been reached. In this particular case, Stephen Gracey filled the role of plaintiff and filed paperwork against the state police. Local lawyer Devon Jacob supported Gracey throughout the case and was thrilled when both sides agreed upon the $300,000 settlement. The fact that a video confirmed the attack was a key piece of evidence that prompted the state police department to offer the settlement rather than pursuing the matter in court.
The entire case was built on the premise that in 2013, after police responded to a domestic dispute report, they became violent and attacked Gracey. A video of the attack shows the responding officers repeatedly striking, kicking, and beating Gracey. Both Jacob and Gracey feel that different, less brutal methods, including pepper spray, should have been used.
This isn’t the first time that the California State police have been accused of using excessive force. At this very moment, Devon Jacob is actually working with 6 plaintiffs each who have filed a separate police brutality claim against the department. When questioned about these cases, police representative refused to comment.
Attorney Drew Warren, a managing partner of a top personal injury firm with an office headquartered in California, has been following the case and others like it The sheer number of civil claims siting personal injury as a result of police brutality concern him.
“There was a time when the police force did have to result to extreme measures when subduing a prisoner, but that’s no longer the case. Today’s officers are outfitted with equipment that includes everything from pepper spray to Taser guns which are designed to help them safely subdue. The fact that so many officers continue to use brute force while doing their job indicates that they need additional training or that the state police force needs to do a better job screening applicants.”
Warren urges anyone who has been handled harshly by any police force to follow Gracy’s example and file a civil suit against the officers responsible for the incident and the agency that hired them. “Knowing that their victims will be taking them to civil court helps remind officers that they need to follow protocol while they’re working, no matter what their personal feelings about the people involved are or the type of case they’re working on.”
By filing both a complaint and a civil claim against an officer, local and state police departments will recognize that they have problem officers and can prepare to release the officer from their duties or make sure they’re better trained.
The best time for a victim of police brutality at the hands of a California officer to file a personal injury lawsuit is as soon as they’ve had their medical needs addressed. Filing early not only ensures that the incident is fresh in the witness’s minds, but also decreases the odds of someone else becoming a victim of the same officer.