The reason that we feel anger is because it’s a natural response. When you feel threatened in some way, anger powers an aggressive and often selfish mindset. For most people, this is a common response even to a mild issue — like getting stuck in a traffic jam on the way to work.

The problem for a police officer is when anger leads to an overreaction. An officer who feels angry may lash out at a suspect who has not even been convicted of a crime. This can lead to brutality and assault. In the heat of the moment, the officer may not contain their emotions. It’s something everyone needs to learn how to do, but an officer who can’t do it could end up violating someone’s rights.

Part of the reason police officers face this issue is that they work in a stressful profession where they often feel threatened. Even if the threat is not real or not present at the time, they’re always on edge. It does not take as much to set them off, in some cases. The odds that they’ll face a dangerous situation are greater for them than for workers in many other professions, and they know it.

That doesn’t excuse police brutality, of course, but it helps to show why it happens. Experts note that both internal and external sources can cause anger, and police officers may face both of them on a daily basis.

So, what do you do if the police do violate your rights and assault you without any reason to do so? The unfortunate reality is that this happens year after year, and those who suffer as a result must know their legal options.