I’ve litigated many police misconduct cases. These include excessive force (or police brutality), false arrest, malicious prosecution, interference with fair trial by perjury, and other areas. I have mostly practiced employment discrimination because juries understand that; regrettably, most juries do not understand police brutality, but maybe, finally, they will now. I turn away most cases because there is some legal flaw, not a fault of the victim, that prevents (or will prevent) a case from success.
I was lucky to get an article published in Salon, June 3, 2020, as I watched the protests unfold on social media. I was rushed to get it out but was able to draw on 25 years of cases I have brought, plus thoughts I’ve had about policing, and – as carried out especially among the urban poor – its many ill effects on society. Police departments can do better, but there are many reasons why they do not. You can read the article here. ) I don’t know how to embed but there was a great graphic, so take a look.)
I wrote the essay feeling that the protests would, once again, result in no meaningful change. But day by day, I sensed the public conversation was changing. I relish that nationwide protests finally arrived (though I don’t mean looting, for sure). I hope that most Americans who saw the violence inflicted on peaceful protesters as I did. Time will tell, but there is no victory in that it had to come to what it did.