Police Accountability Law and Legal Definition

Law enforcement officers have used questioning, search and seizure, arrest, and accusation to harass ordinary citizens. Law enforcement officers have the right and the duty to stop and question any citizen, whenever a felony has been committed and they have reasonable grounds to believe that the citizen may have been involved in that felony. However, citizens have constitutional protections against unreasonable search aid seizures, interrogation without counsel, and unlawful detainment.

The limited protection search is sometimes used for harassment purposes. The law enforcement officer is permitted, if he has cause to suspect that a person is armed, to "frisk" that person for weapons. Also, under the plain view doctrine, if the officer's simply sees some item which he defines as contraband, he has the right to confiscate it, as well as to take any further action as appropriate.

Police brutality is a civil rights violation that occurs when a police officer acts with excessive force by using an amount of force with regards to a civilian that is more than necessary. Excessive force by a law enforcement officers is a violation of a person's rights. Excessive force is not subject to a precise definition, but it is generally beyond the force a reasonable and prudent law enforcement officer would use under the circumstances.

Force should be used in only the minimum amount needed to achieve a legitimate purpose. Police brutality is a direct violation of the laws within the police force. The use of excessive force is also a direct violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S Constitution regarding cruelty and protection of the laws.