Police misconduct is something everyone in America has thought about over the last few years. Though the term is fairly broad and can be used to describe a great many different things, it is generally used when referring to actions taken by police officers that are either illegal or against department policies and protocols. 

We all hope that the men and women in blue are honest and doing their best to keep everyone safe. But from experience and the news, we know that is not always the case. Unfortunately, sometimes officers go too far and use their authority to hurt the very people they are meant to protect. 

If such conduct on behalf of a police officer has resulted in harm to or false allegations against you, here are 10 examples of police misconduct you can refer to for your case.

Excessive Force

The death of George Floyd rocked the nation in the spring of 2020 and is a clear example of excessive force. The officers at the scene used more force than was required to detain Floyd and as a result he died.

Luckily, death is not the result every time an officer uses excessive force. Broken bones, bruising, and other injuries can occur, though. And if this happened to you, not only could you get your charges dropped, but you might be able to bring a lawsuit against the officer, police department, or city where the incident occurred.

Being Drunk While on Duty

Just as many employees cannot drink while at work, police officers are not supposed to either. If an officer is found to have been drinking on the job they could be disciplined and even fired. If charges were brought against you while an officer was under the influence of drugs or alcohol you could get your charges dropped. 

In one example, an officer in Georgia was fired for having a blood-alcohol content (BAC) over .08. 

Racial Profiling

Normally, when a police officer is going to make an arrest, they need probable cause that a crime has been committed. Probable cause is a fundamental right and protected by the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In the summer of 2016 in Ferguson, Missouri, it was found that police officers were arresting men of color without probable cause that they had committed a crime. While arguing that your arrest was unlawful on your own is difficult, with a skilled criminal defense lawyer, you might be able to get charges dropped against you if officers infringed on your rights.

Fabricating Evidence

If an officer doesn’t have sufficient evidence to convict an individual, they might feel pressure to find it. In some cases, they might even make it up. Several decades ago, a New York City police officer did just that. He added fingerprints to a particular case file making it seem as though the accused had been at the scene of the crime.


Returning to Ferguson, Missouri, when the police department was investigated, officers lied about engaging in racial profiling. As a result, the guilty officers were suspended.

Sexual Assault

In a horrific case of abusing authority, two New York City police officers were caught coercing a woman they had arrested into performing sexual acts on them. The officers promised to drop charges if the woman obliged and threatened her if she didn’t.

Witness Tampering

In 2018, a New Jersey police officer was found guilty of witness tampering. The officer in question admitted to tampering with a witness as part of a narcotics investigation. As a result, he lost his job and chance to be a cop anywhere in the state.

Police Brutality

The examples of police brutality are almost too many to count. Philando Castille was shot and killed in St. Paul, Minnesota at a routine traffic stop. Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson. 

If an officer has shot or harmed you for no reason, with the help of a criminal defense attorney, you can seek justice.

False Arrest

In Chicago, a woman was arrested and held for ten months. Her crime: trying to help a police officer out of a burning car. After finally being released, the women sued the city and was awarded over $7 million.

Planting Evidence

A Baltimore police officer was caught on video planting fake drug evidence. What made matters worse was that the fake evidence resulted in the accused being held in jail for several months. 

It goes without saying that such actions are against police guidelines and are entirely unethical.