New Jersey residentswho believe that they are witnessing an act of police brutality are discouraged from directly intervening. Those who do intervene may put their safety at risk and may also be taken into custody for obstructing a police officer. However, there are several steps that people may be able to take if they witness questionable police activity. For instance, it is legal to film the police as long as doing so won’t interfere with their ability to perform their duties.
An officer cannot confiscate a person’s cellphone without a search warrant. However, there is a chance that he or she will be ordered to relinquish the device or to stop filming. While such an order may be unlawful, an individual may be taken into custody for failing to comply with it.
Those who believe that they have witnessed a police officer using excessive force may want to file complaints with that officer’s supervisor. However, it is important to note that a brutality claim may not necessarily be investigated in a timely manner. If a complaint is investigated, it is unlikely that an officer will be disciplined. According to a report from Reuters, there were 3,000 complaints filed against Minneapolis police over the past eight years. Of those complaints, 90% were resolved without any action being taken.
As a general rule, the police are only allowed to use reasonable force when attempting to take a person into custody. This is generally true even if a person is drunk or under the influence of drugs. Those who believe that they have been victims of police brutality may want to pursue legal action. An attorney may use videos or witness statements to help a person obtain a favorable outcome in court.