The law protects citizens from police brutality. If you have been subjected to improper or excessive force by the police or some other state or federal official, you may be able to make a claim and recover damages, including attorney's fees and costs. Both state and federal laws safeguard your rights under the Fourth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Police brutality may occur if a law enforcement officer uses or attempts to use greater force than necessary to make the arrest, search, stop and frisk, or halt. Also, the threat or use of force against a law enforcement officer is not justified unless the accused person reasonably believes that force is immediately necessary to protect against the officer's use or attempted use of unnecessary force. Even if the officer's actions are unlawful, force is not a defense unless the accused person was acting in self-defense, that is, acting under a reasonable belief that the force was immediately necessary to protect against death or serious bodily injury. Police brutality is a serious matter. If you believe that you have been the victim of police brutality you may wish to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Time is of the essence in many of these cases. In some instances, these claims may be barred if they are not brought within a short amount of time after the date of the occurrence. For more information, talk with an attorney.