If you have had an interaction with the police or law enforcement in the state of New York, it is likely that it was a stressful situation to be in. Law enforcement has received a lot of bad press in the last few years, highlighting occasionally tragic occurrences of police brutality across the United States.

Every citizen has the right to basic humane treatment, even if they have committed a crime. Therefore, if you believe that you have been victim to police brutality in the state of New York, it is important that you understand how the law works.

Law enforcement is often accused of brutality in situations where the defendant was considered to be resisting. However, resistance to an arrest comes in different forms, and just because a person tries to avoid being arrested, it does not mean that violence is necessary.

What are the different types of resistance when a person is being arrested?

Passive resistance is a common reaction to an arrest. It means that the person being arrested might be reacting with automatic resistance to violence to which he or she is being subjected. It does not mean that he or she is actively trying to resist the arrest or trying to flee the scene.

There are more than 10 types of resistance recognized under criminal law, and the level of resistance that the defendant is exhibiting is proportional to the amount of force that law enforcement can use against them.

What level of force can police officers use?

Law enforcement should not use an unnecessary amount of force given the situation. For example, they should never use lethal force if less lethal methods such as police dogs, tasers or chemical sprays would be sufficient.

How can I report police brutality in New York?

If you believe that you were treated with excessive force by police, you can file a civil rights complaint, or a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice. In order to successfully hold law enforcement responsible, you should be able to show that the force used against you was disproportionate to the crime you committed and the level of resistance you exhibited.