Police misconduct can occur on a number of different levels. An officer may leave pertinent information out of a police report, conduct an identification process that crosses lines or even become overly physical during an arrest, and there are consequences for the violation of citizen rights or limitations set out by law. Consequences include the exclusion of evidence that is wrongfully obtained all the way to civil litigation for damages. Take the recent case of an arrest in a residential home involving Orlando police officers.
Investigations into alleged drug crimes often involve private residences. Entering a residence without a search warrant can result in the violation of Fourth Amendment rights. There are some exceptions that allow officers to enter a home without obtaining a warrant such as “hot pursuit” or exigent circumstances — exceptions that did not apply in this situation.
On May 13, 2007 two officers arrived at the private residence of an Orlando resident. There, the officers arrested the resident’s son for a routine misdemeanor in the garage attached to the home. When she realized what was going on, she reached out to her son as any mother might. The officers then followed the woman into her home, forced her to leave and placed her in custody for resisting arrest.
This was not the first incident involving the two officers that appeared at her home. Other situations involved sexual touching of a woman while on duty and pushing another down a flight of steps at a nightclub.
The mother in this instance took the claims as far as civil court, and a jury found a violations of her rights. The result: her criminal charges were dropped and she was awarded civil damages.
Source: Click Orlando, “Orlando police ordered to pay woman $88,000,” Tony Pipitone, April 26, 2013