Criminal Law and Civil Rights
Ed's background in law enforcement gives him insight into how police do their job and what they need to arrest and charge somebody with a crime. This knowledge is invaluable because Ed knows the boundaries and inner workings of law enforcement.
Mistakes in your criminal case can cost you your subsequent civil rights action. Criminal defendants may have valuable civil claims. If your criminal defense attorney does not understand the interplay between criminal defense and civil rights law, this can be a costly mistake and bar or cripple your civil case.
Because we handle both criminal defense and civil litigation, we understand how to protect your civil rights while defending you in a criminal case. Many attorneys do not have the perspective or knowledge of how one relates or impacts the other.
Civil Rights and Police Misconduct
Police work is a career, not just a job. There are many good cops who work their entire career without a blemish and they worked hard for a good reputation. However, there are bad apples whose actions taint the entire bushel. It is when these bad cops do harm that we step in and make those responsible accountable for their wrongdoing.
Article 6, Clause 2 of the Constitution says the Consitution is the Supreme Law of the Land. This includes our Constitutional Rights which are the protections and liberties guaranteed to the people by the U.S. Constitution. Many of these rights are outlined in the Bill of Rights. Every law enforcement officer takes an oath and swears to "uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States" when they receive their badge, which is a representation of the public's trust that they will execute their duties in accordance with the Constitution, state and local laws as well as their department's policies.
Police Misconduct refers to inappropriate conduct and illegal actions taken by police officers in connection with their official duties that are violations of our Constitutional Rights. Types of misconduct include among some: police brutality, coerced false confession, intimidation, false arrest, false imprisonment, falsification of evidence, spoliation of evidence, police perjury, witness tampering, police corruption, racial profiling, unwarranted surveillance, unwarranted searches, and unwarranted seizure of property.
The job of our law enforcement officers has never been an easy one, and in this day and age, it has become more difficult for police officers and deputies to do their job effectively. We need police to have order and stability in our civilized society. However, police misconduct does occur and is unacceptable and intolerable, whether at the patrol level or all the way to the top. As we saw when Lee Baca, the Sheriff of Los Angeles County was convicted for obstruction of a federal investigation into the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department for corruption and civil rights violations. (Sheriff Lee Baca Convicted) Or when the Undersheriff of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, Paul Tanaka was convicted of obstructing justice by attempting to derail a federal investigation into corruption and civil rights violations by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. (Undersheriff Paul Tanaka Convicted) along with 21 other members of the department.
Police misconduct lawsuits are difficult. The departments deny responsibility and claim to be immune to any wrongdoing. They have endless resources at their disposal and the luxury of being free, unlike their victims. Ed and his staff have worked on several police misconduct cases with various attorneys and firms that specialize in these types of cases and have a history of success. Ed will use his training and experiences along with his network of civil rights attorneys to get your case the best representation he can.