Your Rights Don't Go Away Just Because You Have Been Arrested

On November 4, 2013, a jury in a Chicago federal case did something bold… it issued an award in a case against the city and individual police officers that sent a message to all of law enforcement. That message was that just because someone has been arrested, or even if they are drunk, that does not mean that they lose their rights to be treated fairly and properly.

What happened, and was reported by the Chicago Tribune, is that a jury in a federal case in Chicago found in favor of a family that was suing the city and several individual police offers for the death of their family member while she was in police custody, arguing that while in custody for approximately 30 hours she did not receive treatment for her asthma and diabetes and subsequently died.

The verdict issued was for 1 million dollars. The jury found that not only were they at fault for the woman's death but also that the city's "policies and practices concerning medical care in police lockups across the city violated the constitutional rights of detainees."

As more and more stories are coming out in the news about individuals being treated unfairly while in police custody after being arrested, it is important to remember that if you are arrested, you still have rights. Don't think that because you did or did not do something wrong that you forfeit your constitutional rights. Be sure to talk about your situation if you are treated a way that violates your rights.

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