Phillips & Associates

SWAT Raids / Police Raids

Civil Rights Attorneys Helping Individuals in New York City

"SWAT" is an acronym that stands for Special Weapons and Tactics. These are police units that use forceful methods similar to those used by military special forces, including battering rams and flash-bang grenades. Generally, the aim of police raids and SWAT raids is to remove threats and distractions from a building, and to force suspects to surrender. However, in some cases, police or SWAT raids are overly forceful in pursuing their missions. At Phillips & Associates, we take our clients' civil rights seriously, and our lawyers are committed to pursuing justice for victims of police misconduct in New York City.

SWAT Raids and Police Raids

Extreme aggression during a police raid can result in humiliation, mistrust, and serious injuries to innocent people. Disastrous police raids have been carried out against the wrong addresses and the wrong people. In some cases, the aggressive conduct used in police raids for drugs results in fatal accidents, even when there is nothing illicit to be found at a particular address.

If a police or SWAT raid results in injuries to you or an innocent family member, you may have a claim for excessive force. This means that the police used more force than was reasonably necessary under the circumstances to conduct the raid. The central issue in an excessive force case is how much force a reasonable police officer would have used under the same circumstances.

Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, you can bring a claim for compensation against someone who, under color of state law, has deprived you of your Constitutional rights, privileges, and immunities. These claims may be brought in state or federal court. An excessive force claim arising out of a police raid is likely to turn on the application of Fourth Amendment law, which is complex. The court will need to balance the importance of the governmental interests used to justify the police raid and the force used in the raid against the suspect's Fourth Amendment rights.

A police officer may be justified in using force during a raid when a suspect threatens or resists the police officer. For example, if you pulled out a gun and waved it at officers during a SWAT raid, a police officer might be justified in using great force. However, if you lie down on the floor at the direction of an officer and get shot in the heat of the moment, this shooting is most likely not justified. A more complex issue is presented by the use of flash-bang grenades in SWAT raids. This is controversial because they can inflict burns on someone who has nothing to do with the suspected criminal activity and who presents no threat.

Enlist a New York City Lawyer to Fight Police Misconduct

If you are a victim of assault, battery, a shooting, or another use of excessive force during a New York City SWAT raid, the civil rights attorneys at Phillips & Associates can advise you. We offer tenacious representation for those whose rights have been infringed in all five boroughs of the city, including Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn. Call us at (212) 248-7431 or set up a meeting through our online form.

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