Across Austin, Texas and the nation, protestors have taken to the streets to protest systemic racism, police brutality, and to raise awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement. Many protestors see this as an inevitable breaking point given the history of police violence against black and brown individuals. While many protests across the country have remained peaceful, there have been situations where the protests have become violent and where protestors have been injured by the police. Across the nation there have been reports of police shoving, pushing, hitting, throwing tear gas, and shooting rubber bullets at protestors. Some protestors have been seriously injured in these attacks. Individuals have the First Amendment right to protest in public spaces without fearing for their lives or safety.
The Robson Law Firm is a personal injury lawyer in Austin, Texas who fights for the rights of the injured. Our personal injury lawyers work with injured people and their families to help them seek damages for their lost wages, medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and pain and suffering. If you were hurt in a protest due to the violent actions of the police or due to intentional violence, you may have the right to pursue a lawsuit. Suing the police can be challenging because police are protected under the concept of sovereign immunity. Under this legal doctrine, the police can only be sued if the state consents to the lawsuit. However, as more police officers are being criminally charged for their violent actions, individuals and families may have more options when it comes to suing the police in cases where police officers faced criminal charges and where police violence is reported. There have also been reports of families finding ways to settle with police officers and police forces in private, thus avoiding the cost of going to court. While there have been calls to put an end to police sovereign immunity, it isn’t clear whether this will happen any time soon. However, the reality is that if you have been injured in a protest or suffered police brutality or violence, you may still have the right to seek damages for your injuries under the law. The Robson Law Firm is a personal injury lawyer in Austin, Texas that is here to help you if you were injured in a protest.
Your Rights as a Protestor in Austin, Texas
What are your rights as a protestor in Austin, Texas? The First Amendment protects your freedom of speech and your right to peacefully assemble. However, there are cases where police may be able to take action to disperse a protest or may even take action against protestors. What are your rights?
According to the ACLU, your First Amendment rights are most robust when protesting in a public place, that is, the sidewalk, the street, a park, or in front of a government building. That said, police may still have the right to keep crowds off the street to prevent the stopping of traffic and may be able to take steps to make sure officials have access to the public building. Protestors have the right to film and photograph a protest that takes place in public. Protestors do not need a permit to protest, but if the protest will close the streets, then protestors may need a permit to close the street to traffic.
Occasionally, if the police believe the protest might pose a risk to public safety, might lead to a riot, or is interfering with traffic, the police may break up the protest. Police must do this in a safe and non-violent manner. This means that protestors must be given fair warning that the protest will be dispersed and must be given a clear way to exit the protest. When dispersing protestors, police should never resort to violence. If you have been hurt when police are dispersing a protest, there are steps you can take to protect your rights. Film and photograph the violence, photograph your injuries, write down the names and badge numbers of offending officers, and write down the names and contact information of witnesses. Victims have the right to file a complaint. If you have been seriously hurt by police in a protest, you may also have the right to pursue a lawsuit. Across the nation, victims of police brutality have been fighting back through lawsuits. The Robson Law Firm is a personal injury law firm in Austin, Texas that may be able to help you if you were injured by the police in a protest, or injured by police in another setting. Contact our personal injury lawyer today.
Seek Justice for Your Injuries in Austin, Texas
If you’ve been injured in a protest due to negligence or intentional violence, you may only have a limited amount of time to seek damages for your losses. The Robson Law Firm is a personal injury lawyer in Austin, Texas that may be able to help you. Reach out to our law firm today or connect with USAttorneys.com to get matched with a lawyer at the Robson Law Firm.