What To Do If You Have Been Beaten-Up or Falsely Arrested By The Police?

by Jerry L. Steering

In the movie “A Few Good Men“, Tom Cruise makes the statement: “A trial is an exercise in placing blame”. That statement was quite profound. When the police use unreasonable force on civilians or otherwise violate their constitutional rights, they almost always arrest them for some “resistance offense”; crimes that are so vague, that almost any conduct by one can be twisted into the truly innocent of having somehow “resisted” or “delayed” or “obstructed” a police officer - California Penal Code 148(a). The idea is for the police shift the blame from them to you; that your commission of some crime caused them to have to use force upon you. The police are not legal scholars, but they are taught from day one that if you are convicted of such a "resistance offense", you are now basically legally “precluded” from obtaining civil redress for the outrages perpetrated against you; sometimes via traditional doctrines like "collateral estoppel", and sometimes via court created “policy decisions” such as Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). Because the courts and District Attorneys are usually more than happy to help the police protect them from you, here's what you need to know if you are a victim of police misconduct.

What To Do If You Have Been Beaten-Up or Falsely Arrested By The Police?

by Jerry L. Steering

PREFACE. This police misconduct attorney is not a big fan of lawyer shows or movies. It’s difficult to sit there and watch the screen writers and the actors butcher trials and law practice generally. However, this author was touched by the movie “A Few Good Men“. In the movie, Tom Cruise makes the statement: “A trial is an exercise in placing blame”. A trial is an exercise in placing blame. When the police use unreasonable force on civilians or otherwise violate their constitutional rights they almost always arrest them for some “resistance offense”; crimes that are so vague that almost any conduct by one can be twisted into the innocent of having somehow “resisted” or “delayed” or “obstructed” a police officer - California Penal Code 148(a. In other words . . .

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As a police misconduct attorney, I found the most common reason for the police to beat you, falsely arrest you and procure your malicious criminal prosecution for a “Resistance Offense”, is when you “Fail the Attitude Test”; when you commit “Contempt of Cop”. “Contempt of Cop” is simply a civilian verbally questioning, challenging or protesting police actions. Don't let the police shift the blame from them to you for the police use of force upon you. Mr. Steering is an expert & specialist in defending bogus criminal “Contempt of Cop” (i.e. resisting arrest, battery on peace officer) cases, and in suing police officers for “Contempt of Cop” / "Bruised Ego" constitutional violations such as:

  • Excessive Force / Police Brutality
  • False Arrest (Cal. Penal Code §§ 69, 148(a)(1), 243(b))
  • Malicious Prosecution
  • First Amendment Whistle Blower Violations

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Police Lawsuit Awards & Settlements

  • Penaloza v. City of Anaheim, U.S. District Court (Orange County); $2,900,000.00 settlement for excessive force
  • Gomez v. County of Orange, et al., U.S. Dist. Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles), $2,163,799.53, settlement for unreasonable force [wrongful death] of convicted jail inmate
  • Moore, et al. v. City of Desert Hot Springs, Riverside County Superior Court, $825,000.00 (trial settlement) for excessive force and false arrest;.
  • Butano v. County of Orange; U.S. District Court (L.A.); $727,500.00 final settlement for false arrest and unreasonable force;.
  • Jimenez v. County of San Diego, U.S. District Court (San Diego); $500,000.00 settlement for excessive force.
  • Montano v. USA; U.S. District Court (L.A.) 2015; $500,000.00 for wrongful death of dialysis patient.

Jerry L. Steering


Civil Rights Lawyer Specializing in Police Misconduct and Criminal Defense; Suing Police Officers and Others for Violating Your Federal Constitutional Rights. Make the wrong step and you are out. We know where to step.

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Police Misconduct litigation is very complicated. The law in this area is complex, confusing and takes many years of litigation and appellate experience to ferret out which cases are likely to prevail in court, and which ones probably will not. The law is not what the average citizen might expect, and new and expanded immunities for police officers and other government officials are growing exponentially.

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