In the U.S., there are five specific actions under color of law. They are:
• Excessive Force
• Sexual Assaults
• False Arrest and Fabrications of Evidence
• Deprivation of Property
• Failure to Keep from Harm
The Sanders Firm, P.C. takes each and every one of these actions seriously. We have outlined them below and treated them in various other pages, offering more detail regarding actions under color of law.
When making an arrest, defending public safety or life and maintaining order a law enforcement official may use reasonable force. Depending upon the situation, reasonable force may be violent. But when this force against individuals is willfully unreasonable or excessive then federal law has been violated and you have a complaint.
Sexual assault under color of law can occur in many different places and under various scenarios, including in jails, in court settings, and during traffic stops. When an official uses their power and authority to coerce someone into engaging in a sexual act or being part of a sexual situation then sexual assault under color of law has occurred. Although the individual may comply in some fashion that compliance is generally achieved because of a threat made by the official of an action against the victim.
False Arrest and Fabrications of Evidence
You are protected from unreasonable searches or seizures by The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Although a law enforcement official may use his/her authority to stop individuals and if necessary to search them and retain their property under certain circumstances, if they abuse of their authority then an individual’s civil rights may be violated. Also, participating in a false arrest or fabricating evidence under color of law, which may include negating an individual’s rights to due process and unreasonable seizure, would constitute a violation of the law.
Deprivation of Property
A person who is being accused of a crime, has been detained or is under arrest may not be punished without due legal process. Due process is guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and cruel and unusual punishment is prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. Any deprivation of property in such a situation would be an action under color of law.
Failure to Keep from Harm
It is the duty of law enforcement officials to protect the community. If a law enforcement official willfully or purposely fails to keep a person from harm, they could be involved in an action of the color of the law, violating legal statutes.