The Philadelphia Police Department are supposed to “protect and serve” are frequently victimized by beatings, theft, verbal harassment, and wrongful arrests at the hands of corrupt officers. The PPD has already been involved in at least 10 documented cases of misconduct during the first two months of 2015 alone. Our experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers explain how to file an official complaint against the PPD if you’ve been injured, threatened, or harassed.
Reporting Police Misconduct in Philadelphia
Before we begin discussing the steps to filing a complaint against the Philadelphia Police Department, it’s very important to be aware that deliberately making a false accusation is a crime pursuant to 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. §4906. Intentionally filing a false complaint, or even exaggerating the circumstances on your complaint, can lead to criminal prosecution — and subsequently, the potential for jail time and costly fines.
With that in mind, there are two ways to begin the process: you can download and mail a paper complaint, or submit a complaint online.
As you prepare your complaint, take some time to ensure you’ve supplied as much relevant and accurate detail as you can remember about the incident. Try to include information like when and where the incident occurred, and if known, the name of the officer involved. Make sure you remember to include your name and phone number so that investigators can contact you for further questioning.
To submit a complaint online, simply follow the link to File an Official Complaint against the PPD. The online form will prompt you to supply information regarding the misconduct. If you need additional help, you can contact the offices of the Internal Affairs Division by calling (215) 685-5056. You can also substitute the last four digits with 5057 or 5058. The Internal Affairs Division office hours are 8:10 A.M. through 4:30 P.M., daily.
The Internal Affairs Division Commander will initiate a review of your complaint once it has been received. The Commander’s investigation can result in one of four potential outcomes.
Contact Our Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer if You Have Questions
It is always important to consult with an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney right away if you have any concerns about excessive force, abuse of power, or an unjustified arrest by the PPD. However, seeking legal help is especially critical in cases where a complaint yields a “sustained” outcome. You may be able to obtain significant financial compensation for the wrongful acts perpetrated against you by filing a civil suit. You may also be required to appear at hearings before the Police Board of Inquiry.
The process of pressing charges against the Philadelphia Police Department is often fraught with legal challenges for plaintiffs. While filing a complaint is a step in the right direction, it remains critically important to have aggressive legal representation on your side.
If you or someone you love was injured by the use of excessive force, of if you feel your rights were violated by a PPD officer making a wrongful arrest, you deserve to have the matter investigated by an experienced lawyer. To set up a free and completely confidential legal consultation, call police brutality attorney Lloyd Long at (215) 882-9752 today.