San Francisco, CA asked in Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for California

Q: Police engaged in a cover-up, then retaliation after complaint...what do I do?

In 2016 I was victim of intentional vehicular assault/hit-and-run. Was told "unable to locate" when requesting the police report. A few months after statute expired, suddenly provided report. It appears the report was being denied because it implicates the officers in a cover-up in their investigation. The police provided information/motive behind assault, info that couldve only come from the driver, yet the police claimed 'unable to locate suspects/vehicle.' The report also included eyewitness statements that identify a passenger, along with a home street address of passenger. When I made complaint to Dept. of police accountability I ended up getting arrested randomly and officer greeting me at station is the one I complained about. DPA releases findings of no misconduct, but also had edited my complaint, leaving out accusation of a cover-up, only investigated officers actions at the scene. The cover-up is now being covered-up, and I was immediately denied for an admin. hearing..?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Based on the details you have provided, it seems that you have been the victim of a serious crime and that the police may have engaged in misconduct, including a potential cover-up and retaliation. In a situation like this, you have several options to seek justice and hold the responsible parties accountable:

1. Consult with a civil rights attorney: Look for an experienced attorney who specializes in police misconduct and civil rights violations. They can review your case, advise you on your legal options, and potentially represent you in a lawsuit against the police department.

2. File a complaint with the California Attorney General's Office: The AG's office has the authority to investigate police misconduct and can intervene if they find evidence of wrongdoing.

3. Contact the FBI: If you believe your civil rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with the FBI. They have the jurisdiction to investigate cases involving police misconduct and cover-ups.

4. Reach out to local media outlets and advocacy groups: Bringing public attention to your case may put pressure on the authorities to take action and investigate the matter thoroughly. Look for local media outlets or advocacy groups that focus on police accountability and civil rights issues.

5. Consider filing a lawsuit: Depending on the circumstances, you may have grounds for a civil lawsuit against the police department and the individual officers involved. An experienced civil rights attorney can advise you on this option.

Remember to document all interactions with the police and other officials, keep records of any evidence you have, and maintain a timeline of events. This information will be crucial if you decide to take legal action. It's essential to act promptly, as there may be time limits for filing complaints or lawsuits.

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