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Former chief, officers convicted of a type of police brutality

Over the past several years, the level of trust between certain segments of the population and police has continued to erode. Along with the nationwide stories of police brutality, some communities have been plagued by rogue police officers who are arresting residents on false charges. In Arizona and other states, some individuals have been falsely accused and suffered serious damage to their reputations.

One community has been shocked to discover that their police chief and several officers were arrested and charged for conducting a series of false arrests in an effort to clear unsolved crimes from their records. This problem came to light after three men were charged with felony burglary. One of the men served several years in prison and was then deported upon his release. The two other men were facing significant jail terms even though they were not guilty of the crimes for which they were charged.

A defense attorney who worked to resolve these three cases states that there may be more than 100 incidents of false arrests along with hundreds of misdemeanor charges for simple matters such as crossing railroad tracks or driving without a seat belt. Reportedly, both Hispanic and African-Americans were targeted in this scandal. In addition, officers purportedly singled out individuals who had criminal records.

The original three who were falsely convicted have since had their records expunged, though the damage done to their reputations may never be fully repaired. Some of those who were falsely arrested in Florida are pursuing civil lawsuits against Biscayne Park officials and the disgraced ex-police officers. There are many forms of police brutality and any overreach of power can result in the victim sustaining monetary damages through loss of income or other negative consequences. Arizona residents who have suffered from any abuse of power by those in positions of authority are entitled to seek a relief for their damages through the civil court system.

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