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What to do when you witness police brutality

While most police do their jobs well, there are plenty of instances around the country where cops take advantage of their position. Many police officers use excessive force to deal with suspects. Unfortunately, many of these officers get off with a slap on the wrist. A report from Mic showed that 98 percent of cops accused of excessive force never got a formal charge for committing a crime. 

You may witness such an event when walking down the street. It is easy to mind your own business and move along, but it is vital to try to hold officers accountable for their actions. Here are some vital steps anyone can take when they see an officer abusing his or her position. 

Record the altercation

Virtually everyone has a smartphone these days. You likely have one yourself, and you can use it to record police brutality. People have a right to record in public spaces, so an officer cannot tell you to stop recording. You can get in the way of an investigation or altercation, so make sure to maintain your distance. Many courts still need to decide on the legality of these recordings as evidence in court, but there has been progress. You also want to take note if the police officers have body cameras, which could also come up as evidence later. 

Take the video to an attorney

Many people post these kinds of videos online, and some have accumulated millions of views. However, you should also take the video to a law firm in Skokie, Cook County or anywhere else around Chicago that specializes in protecting people's civil rights. It seems counterintuitive to take the footage to a police station, and an attorney will know what to do with it. You do not want to put yourself in any danger, but you can help protect others' rights when you witness police brutality. 

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