Police officers have difficult jobs. They are often required to interact with and arrest people who are behaving irrationally and unpredictably due to drugs and alcohol. However, the recent attention on police interactions with people suspected of a crime could potentially mean that authorities are hypersensitive to potential claims of police brutality. For example, a police officer in California is likely considering his criminal defense after he was arrested for assault following the arrest of a man accused of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Police believe that the 41-year-old police officer used excessive force when arresting a man suspected of DUI. According to reports, the officer used his baton while doing so. An investigation was reportedly launched after other officers discussed their concerns regarding the arrest with their superior officers.

As a result, body cam footage was reviewed, and the officer was charged with assault under the color of authority, assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily harm and filing a false police report. The suspect was taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries that were not life-threatening; a spokesperson for the police declined to comment on the severity of the injuries due to privacy concerns. The alleged victim also faces multiple charges, including failure to yield, resisting arrest and driving under the influence.  

Because of the current attention on police interactions with suspects, an officer facing criminal charges could have concerns regarding his treatment. To ensure lawful treatment throughout criminal proceedings, many defendants hire a criminal defense attorney to guide them through the process. Many people in California feel better prepared to make necessary, potentially life-altering decisions with such a professional advising them.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Northern California police officer arrested, accused of beating DUI suspect with baton“, Sept. 27, 2017