How to File a Complaint Against a Police Officer

Never … ever… walk into a police station by yourself and try to file a complaint against a police officer. Civilian testers have shown that you may be harassed or falsely arrested for doing so.

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Police complaints are allegations of misconduct and you as a citizen have the right to file a police complaint. When someone files a police complaint against a police officer an incident report is placed in the officer’s record, so as to hopefully keep the officer from continuing to abuse his or her authority. It also makes the officers superiors aware that there might be a problem with an individual police officer that needs to be addressed. Filing a police complaint and reporting police misconduct is a step towards ending this abuse of power by police.

  Examples of police misconduct:

Rudeness

Excessive force

Soliciting or accepting bribes

Drinking on duty

Harassment

Making a false report (good for alleging in the case of traffic tickets)

Use of narcotics (on or off duty)

Discrimination

Altering information on an official document

Careless driving (driving rapidly and/or aggressively to a minor call

Racial or ethnic intimidation

Malicious threats or assault

Sexual harassment

Police complaints will not get a victim compensated for police abuse. Police complaints are not law suits. If you file a complaint against a police officer and the police clear themselves as they often do, the only recourse you may have is a civil law suit. A civil law suit you may receive compensation if you and your attorney can prove damages or civil rights violations.  Contact a competent civil rights attorney if you need more information about filing a law suit for civil rights violations. 

To file a complaint on a police officer “one of a less serious nature,” you need to send a written complaint “certified mail with return receipt.” You can send the police complaint to Internal Affairs. Certified mail gives you some type of proof that you actually filed a complaint against a police officer. If you don’t send the complaint certified mail the letter sometimes gets lost or misplaced by someone at the police department.

As soon as possible write down everything that happened. Don’t worry about sending your complaint off right away. Wait a few days and go back over your written complaint and see what you might have forgotten the first time you wrote it. There’s no need for “emotions” to be involved, when you write your complaint and the most important thing is to be truthful! If the police catch you in a lie, your complaint won’t be credible nor will any other complaints you send in the future. You could even be charged for making a false report against a police officer and in some states be sued.

The more information in your written complaint the better. Your compliant should include:

Who is the officer you’re filing a complaint against? Name or badge number?

What the officer said or did? Was he rude, abusive or used excessive force?

When did it happen? Date and time.

Where did it occur? Location?

How did the incident occur? 

Do you have corroborating witnesses, whose story does not conflict with yours? If you have witnesses you should ask each of them to write a separate account of the incident.

Do you have any type of evidence, like pictures or a video recording? If you do, don’t send the “original” to the police, send only a copy.

Mail the complaint “certified mail with return receipt requested,” to Internal Affairs at the police department or the sheriffs department where the officer works. The complaint will be investigated and you should receive a letter back from the police agency on the status of your complaint. Most police complaints will be in the favor of the police officer, but the good thing is the complaint will stay on the police officers record.

The police may try and contact you by phone or mail to do a “follow up” about your complaint. Don’t answer any questions and never go down to the police station for an interview. Tell them everything they need to know is in your letter you sent and then say good bye. Stick to what you said in your complaint letter and say nothing else!

There is a time limit on how long you have to file a complaint against a police officer. For minor police misconduct you may have  only 60 days and up to 6 months for more serious allegations.

If you’re interested in knowing what complaints have been filed against police officers in your community, you may request a copy of that information be sent to you from that police agency. Send your request “certified mail with return receipt requested.” Request a copy of complaints of police officers from that agency be mailed to you under the “Freedom of Information Act.” DON’T ever walk into a police station and ask for this information! Police officers either start acting real stupid on the subject or they get mad and start threatening you.

Never file a complaint directly with a police agency specially if the complaint is of a serious nature, see an attorney! If you do plan on hiring an attorney, get one who doesn’t work in your area. Don’t get a lawyer from your town, county or from the surrounding counties. Local lawyers work with same judges, prosecutors and police officers on a daily basis and may not want to win your case as bad as you do.

You may also contact your State Attorney General. For serious incidents call the ACLU hot line 1-877-634-5454 or contact the Department of Justice Click here for the (DOJ) site.

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7 comments

    1. I am anonymous. I am being stocked & abused by Warren & Judy Butler, Matt & Margie Kearney, Rose Larson, Robbie, Mr. Godwin, John Macquarie Sr., Patrick O’Connor whom a newcomer is helping them. I tried to get protection orders but was denied over & over. Judy raped me w/her hand after she drugged me. She raped my cat Whiskers and then killed her. They have my family against their wills. At first it was just my sisters and my brother but their kids wanted to see them and they witnessed the abuse and kept them also. This abuse has been going on for 8 years. They been staying at 3027 S 204th Street Bldg. G 62 63 64 68 70 rooms within rooms in SeaTac, WA. 98198. They have killed and raped. One time Judy was raping me using a voodoo doll and an officer was watching and just started “jacking off”. Yes, they practice voodoo and hurt and rape all of us using voodoo and voodoo dolls with our hair on it. There was @14 gun shots that shook our windows and I heard Judy say that they were a Cambodian family that killed their family and then themselves because they couldn’t take the abuse from Warren & Judy etc. They are evil. The same morning I heard a police officer say to Warren & Judy etc. “This is the last time I am going to cover up for you”. But that is SeaTac police for you, they are helping them so please do NOT call them. Judy even POOPED her pants ON purpose because she didn’t want to stop watching me. MY GOD. She needs mental help. They keep threatening to get me arrested for reaching out. They are the criminals, not me. But when I do reach out, you call SeaTac police, then they go over and see Warren & them and just talk to them. JUST TALK TO THEM. I overhear it. WHY DO YOU ALL CALL SEATAC POLICE WHEN I ASK YOU NOT TO. SEATAC POLICE ARE NOT NOT DOING THEIR JOB. They need to be arrested not talked to. But you see, they know where they are. They have my family OR I WOULD HAVE RAN AWAY A LONG TIME AGO. They rape children and animals. They have killed, they killed my brother Duke and others, my GOD, arrest them. DO YOUR JOB before I do it for you because I really can’t stand the abuse anymore. Neither can my family and they don’t let them call 911 and THEY MAKE THEM LIE BY INFLICTED PAIN AND THREATS TO THEIR CHILDREN. I have heard Sharon, Lotus, Isis and the rest of my family tried to tell you that they are NOT Judy’s family. Why aren’t you listening??? And why do the police come over and ask for Lotus to give them a “blow job”??? I heard it just yesterday again. My family are NOT Judy’s family. She is NOT anonymous. The real Jesus healed me and ISIS but not for more abuse. Jesus did NOT heal Judy. Please stop them. DO YOUR JOB. Whatever Warren & Judy etc. say to you do NOT meet with them. They will abuse you or/and kill you. SeaTac police ARE NOT doing their job. We need someone to DO THEIR JOB. Please give this to your local police NOT SEATAC. Sincerely Anonymous please give this to your local SeaTac police are NOT doing their job and I don’t know where to turn anymore do not meet or trust anyone no matter what story they tell you as others have they are stalking me that’s how they would know for they WILL abuse you or/and kill you as they already have others

  1. Friends and family this is Tom here. Here is a proud video of the thugs you call New Boston police. All because I did the godly thing of mowing a sand niggers yard as the police chief says. They have been harassing me. I won’t be bullied I am not prejudiced but I am not a racist. Apparently the city of New Boston is.how Many thousands of you have I help feed. You know the battle I’ve been in. Are these thugs instead of investigating crack houses keeping drugs out of our school. Would rather have you go hungry. Why wouldofficer call. The state Comptroller’s office or why would a city police officer call USDA. You see non-of them have filed charges against me. Lying when he’s making his statements. They are making decisions of who or where you hang out with. Don’t judge a man by color I judge a man by character. These men have no character they are thugs. Watch as one Officer get so frustrated he almost hits me. How may times as he threatened to take me to jail for not signing a ticket when I was not refusing the signing ticket. Threatening to arrest me for filming him when I have every right to flim the officer they film us. Count how many times he threatened to take me to jail for nothing for nothing this could be you your son your daughter. I’m asking your friends to stand beside me. Send a copy of this video to every news news agency you can think of. Ended to the governor of Texas Gov. Perry. I asked that the mayor of the city. New Boston Texas. Suspend the Offers there’s immediately without pay. Since they have not made their probationary.. The mayor has the right to fire without explanation. Call City Hall folks. Demand Mayor Branson fire of these thugs. We’ve got to stand together and be united. This bullshit of who you know and not what you know is crazy. You all know me . I am not a criminal. The court date is set for April 18, 2014 at 1 PM at 1:08 N. Center St. new Boston. Come and stand with me I plan on fighting this all the way to the Supreme Court. Or with my life if need be. These thugs have shown they have no value for me or you. Thanks again friends Tom Trader. PS tomorrow I will be filing a complaint with the city demanding that investigation be held against these officers. Please visit me in jail. LOL I may be joking but I don’t feel safe with these thugs. I know they are crooked. Racist thugs!!
    http://youtu.be/6WDmDP8TOJw

    1. Good luck to u. We live in Dunn, Nc, & are being harrassed by the PD. My husband was tased 7 times when he had 6 cops on top of him… There’s much more, but I’m on the warpath now! I used to be a cop, but I’m appalled by these cops who strap on all their I’m with ya, bro. gear and think they can do whatever they want.

  2. Good Luck to everyone, and GOD Bless. wrong is wrong and I pray justice is served. I am a nursing student and a mother of three. I have no record, no warrants, I have valid driver license and insurance. I was pulled over because of traffic warrants on my plates from a boyfriend in 2009. I was by myself on my way to work at 7 in the morning. I was ordered out of my vehicle, threatened with Taser in my face Then thrown out of vehicle and tossed around like a rag doll I screamed for help and was continually tased over and over again. Again no record everything valid, I was not being arrested WHY did this happen to me. If anyone out there has information to someone that can help please email me mcroy1@sbcglobal .net

  3. 3 days ago the police.two of them jerked me threw my bedroom window..slammed me to the ground..im 53 yrs old..im in so much pain..covered in brusies and afraid to leave my home..im so afraid of them…what can i do…..

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