What laws protect against police brutality in Melbourne Florida?

Mar 17, 2020 12:05 AM ET

As Americans, we are afforded rights under the Constitution of the United States, including protection from unjust behavior exhibited by law enforcement during police encounters.  Officers shall not consider race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, gender identity or sexual orientation in establishing either reasonable suspicion, probable cause, or as a reason for requesting consent to search, or use excessive force actions during police engagement, due to any prejudice.  Bias-based profiling is frowned upon in all police-initiated actions, including investigative detentions, field and traffic contacts, arrests, searches, asset seizures and forfeiture efforts.

Melbourne Police Department on bias-based profiling.

The Melbourne Police Department is committed to unbiased policing in all of its encounters with the public as they patrol in a proactive manner to investigate suspicious persons and circumstances and enforce motor vehicle laws. However, officers investigating criminal activities may use a variety of techniques in developing the proof needed to arrest and prosecute criminals. The absence of articulable facts, suspicious activity, or specific criminal information is what separates bias-based profiling from legitimate criminal profiling.  Melbourne Police Officers receive training to identify and avoid bias-based profiling, including the potential liability associated with violations of the law.

Criminal profiling.

Criminal profiling is a legitimate technique used by officers to evaluate evidence and identify the characteristics common to a specific kind of criminal activity. Factual information, patterns of activity, and motives are some of the aspects considered when using criminal profiling.

Police misconduct laws.

State and federal laws addressing police misconduct include criminal and civil statutes to cover officers’ action in state, county and local jurisdictions, including prisons and jails. It has become commonplace for victims to seek counsel with attorneys when a violation occurs during a police encounter. The 2018 Florida Statutes Chapter 776 outlines the law on “Justifiable Use of Force” as it pertains to Police Officer activity in Section 776.05 whereby an officer is justified in the use of any force when he or she reasonably believes it to be necessary to defend himself or herself or others from bodily harm during an arrest; when necessarily committed in retaking felons who have escaped; or are fleeing from justice.

Excessive force, false arrest, wrongful search and seizure activities, are all illegal and actionable offenses to be remedied by victims of bad police encounters, often originating in bias-based profiling. f you have would like more information regarding the Melbourne Police Department’s policies and procedures prohibiting bias-based profiling, or if you have a complaint, please call (321) 608-6731.

Excessive Force – utilizing more physical force than necessary to subdue a criminal causing bodily harm or death.
False Arrest and Wrongful Imprisonment – unlawful restraint of a person’s freedom of movement by another acting in perceived accordance with the law.
Wrongful Search and Seizure Activity – protection from “unreasonable searches and seizures” notwithstanding probable cause enabling a search warrant.
Racial and Gender Discrimination – bias-based policing is the intentional practice by an individual law enforcement officer who incorporates prejudicial judgments and applies them in the performance of his/her duties.

Hire an attorney.

If you, or a loved one has been victimized by any type of police misconduct in the Melbourne Florida area, the professionals at the Law Offices of Robert C. Gray can review your claim and see if you have a cause for action to recover damages. 


Damages may include hospital/medical expenses; past and future permanent disability payments; emotional distress including depression and anxiety; loss of enjoyment of life; physical pain and suffering; and loss of love and companionship due to a death or serious injury caused by police brutality or excessive use of force.

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