When an officer is in the midst of making an arrest, the situation is often suspenseful and intense. This does not excuse an officer from using excessive force when handling an arrestee’s handcuffs. Handcuffs are, at times, an essential tool during an arrest, but their purpose is to keep the suspect as well as the police officer safe. Ordinarily, a reasonable arrest involves handcuffing a suspect tight enough to prevent the arrestee’s hands from slipping out or escaping. But how do you determine if the force was excessive?

What to consider:

There are several factors to consider if you have been a victim of police brutality. Generally, courts have found that a police officer has infringed upon a person’s 4th Amendment Right involving handcuffs when:

(1) A police officer handcuffs a person and the handcuffs were unreasonably tight

(2) A police officer brutally handcuffs a person, subjecting them to pain and numbness to their wrists

(3) A police officer refuses to loosen the handcuffs upon a person’s request and claim of pain and suffering

(4) A police officer handcuffs a person whose confinement was not privileged, meaning the police officer had no reason to detain this person

When determining whether a law enforcement officer has used excessive force in the course of an arrest, investigatory stop, or other seizure of a person, you should look to the “reasonableness standard” set out under the 4th Amendment.  This reasonableness is measured by weighing the facts of each case and taking into account whether a suspect poses a threat, resists, or attempts to evade arrest, as well as the severity of the crime that a person is being charged with. To have a claim for excessive force, a person would have suffered demonstrable injuries or sought medical treatment as a result of being in handcuffs.

What can you do?

Do not allow yourself to become a victim to this illegal practice. If you have been a victim to police brutality, you may be entitled to compensation. You should consult an experienced attorney immediately and get the recovery you deserve.