Law enforcement officers are supposed to keep us safe and protect us, and for the most part they do that. Unfortunately, there are some police officers who fail to understand that they are supposed to act responsibly even when interacting with a “suspect.”
In June 2011, Flint Farmer was infamously shot and killed by a Chicago police officer during a traffic stop. The officer’s dashboard camera recorded him standing over Farmer and shooting him in the back. A total of 16 shots were fired, and seven hit Farmer, who was unarmed.
At the time, the State’s Attorney declined to press charges. By the time the city’s Independent Police Review Authority later declared the shooting “unjustified,” the officer had already resigned.
This tragedy should be a cause of concern for everyone.
To make sure you are protected, contact an experienced Chicago defense attorney at any point when you believe you are going to be arrested—or feel in danger. A lawyer represents you and protects your rights during an arrest, during questioning, and when going into any criminal justice proceedings.
During a Traffic Stop
While most people are unlikely to suffer such violence during a traffic stop, over recent years, high-profile incidents have made these events anything but routine.
If you feel you are being harassed by police officers during a traffic stop, clearly communicate your desire to have your lawyer immediately present. Do not quickly reach for a mobile phone in your pocket or beside you, however; sudden movements can escalate the situation.
At the Police Station
If you have already been arrested or taken to a police station for questioning, then you should demand to have an attorney present and not answer any questions without one. Even if you are told that you are not under arrest, you should still have a lawyer there to make sure your rights are protected. Police officers sometimes interrogate suspects for hours at a time and use various tricks to extract information from a person. Even if you have done nothing wrong, they have ways to get people to admit and confess to things they never did; especially in Chicago.
During Criminal Proceedings
Should charges be filed against you, having a defense attorney becomes even more important. Your lawyer can provide a strong defense. Even if your attorney cannot get the charges fully dismissed, it is possible that he or she can help you get a lesser charge or fight to reduce your punishment.
An experienced and knowledgeable defense attorney is vital to protecting you through every step of the criminal justice process, even before you realize you might need one. If you or someone you know feels threatened by law enforcement , call us at Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC at (312) 644-0444.