Frequently Asked Questions about Police Misconduct
Is my complaint really anonymous?
When you post a complaint, you have an option of how you would like your name displayed. If you like, you can even have your name displayed only as initials or just as "Anonymous". Anybody who uses the site may contact you privately through our anonymizer email system. Your email address will not be revealed, and the person emailing you will not know who you are, even if you respond. If you want them to know who you are, you can freely include your contact information in your reply.
How do I prevent people from knowing who I am?
When you receive an email from our anonymizer, you can reply without revealing your identity. However, any information in your email will be viewable. This means that if you wish to keep your identity secret, just make sure to remove your name, phone number, and email address from any signature that might automatically be added by your mail program.
How can I help people who have been victimized by the same officer?
If you know someone who has been victimized by an officer, you should talk to an attorney. If the victim is facing criminal charges, you may be able to help by testifying in their defense as to the character of the officer. Also, by posting your complaint on this website with the full name and agency of the officer, an attorney would be able to find you and ask for your help with a victim you might not know. You can be contacted without giving out any of your personal information, and you are not obligated to testify.
Why not just file a complaint with the police department?
It is always a good idea to file a complaint with a police department - and this shows good faith on your part to resolve the issue. In fact, we recommend that you do file a report with the offending officer's department for each incident you file on this website. However, many police departments will defend their own officers or assume that you are lying just to get out of trouble with an arrest of citation made by the officer. Unfortunately, your complaint usually gets buried in police records, there are often no consequences for the offending officer, and the department does all it can to hide previous complaints from current defendants who need access to that information.
Why don't the police keep good records of complaints?
Police departments will usually claim that they can't release information about previous complaints made about an officer. They claim that this is to protect the officer's privacy as a person. However, these officers are public figures, acting with public power. It is our opinion that everything they do while on the job should be under public scrutiny. It is this layer of secrecy that allows bad cops to get away with many crimes.
Can I sue the police?
If you have been injured either physically or financially by an officer, it is best to consult an attorney. If you find that the officer who injured you is listed on this site, especially with many other similar complaints, an attorney may be willing to take action on your behalf, sometimes with no fees.
How does this site help clean up the police force?
This site works for a few reasons. First, as officers become aware of our presence, they become afraid to act illegally, knowing that the victim has a place to be heard by people and lawyers willing to take action. Second, as an officer receives more and more complaints, and as those complaints are verified by lawyers, more of the officer's charges against there victims will be dismissed. Officer's with many complaints are sometimes called "Super Cops" because they make so many arrests or citations. Because the more arrests a police department makes, the more effective they look in fighting crime, a department likes to keep these officers well protected. However, if most of these officer's charges are being dismissed because there are so many previous complaints, the officer becomes useless to the department. With a long list of complaints against an ineffective officer, he can't last long before he is terminated.