A Wister woman is contesting her arrest after she claims the city’s police chief used excessive force and caused her serious injury and $1,500 in medical bills. Brenda Martin suffered a dislocated knee, bruised ribs, and a black eye after Police Chief Chris Ford pushed her from behind, kicked her legs out from under her, and shoved her to the ground. If Ford used excessive force, then Martin has the right to sue Ford for the harm he caused her with the help of an Oklahoma City personal injury lawyer.
Oklahoma Police May Have Used Excessive Force
According to Martin, she went to city hall to confront Ford. She admits she was emotional and upset when he asked her to leave. Video from the security cameras in city hall show her leaving Ford’s office and show Ford pushing her into a wall, kicking her legs out from under her, and shoving her to the ground.
Martin was going to be charged with disorderly conduct and disrespecting a police officer, but because of her injuries Martin was released and allowed to seek medical attention. According to Ford, Martin was then arrested on municipal complaints of using profanity in public and resisting arrest. However, there is no arrest or incident report on file. Martin has said she will contest the charges because Ford used excessive force and did not have the right to injure her.
WHEN AN OK POLICE OFFICER HAS THE RIGHT TO USE REASONABLE FORCE
When making an arrest, a law enforcement officer has the right to use such force as is reasonably necessary under the circumstances. For example, if a person is attempting to flee then the police offer can reasonably restrain the person or if a person attempts to injure the police officer then the officer can defend himself. But police officers do not have the right to use excessive force. In Oklahoma, excessive force is statutorily defined as “physical force which exceeds the degree of physical force permitted by law or the policies and guidelines of the law enforcement entity.”
In Oklahoma, many factors are considered to determine whether the use of force was excessive, including:
- The severity of the crime of which the arrestee is suspected
- Whether the suspect poses an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others
- Whether the suspect is actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest
- The known character of the arrestee
- The existence of alternative methods of accomplishing the arrest
- The physical size, strength and weaponry of the officers compared to those of the suspect
- The exigency of the moment.
If the force is unnecessary and unreasonable, then the abused person has the right to sue the officer for damages. A person who was injured by a police officer using excessive force has the right to sue the officer for:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of earning capacity or wages
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental pain and suffering
- Impairment of mental powers, mutilation, and disfigurement
OUR OKLAHOMA CRIMINAL LAWYERS PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS
If you or someone you love has been the victim of excessive force by an Oklahoma police officer, seek the help of Oklahoma Criminal Defense attorneysand personal injury lawyers who will protect your rights and ensure you are compensated for your injuries. Contact Atkins & Markoff today to schedule a free initial consultation.