Some civil rights violations should be taken to the police, while others can be filed with different organizations. When civil rights violations fall within a particular category, such as violence, threats, or other criminal actions – one should file a civil rights complaint with the police.
Step 1 - Document Exactly What Happened
While this can be difficult to accomplish directly after the criminal civil rights violation has occurred, but it’s essential to the complaint. You should document the following things:
- The names of everyone involved in the incident.
- The time and date the incident occurred.
- Exactly what happened and how the civil rights were violated.
- Location of the incident.
- Names and addresses (if possible) of any witnesses that were present.
Step 2 - Report the Crime to the Police
If civilians committed the crime, it’s important to make a police report right away. Take the documentation with you and any proof of the crime. Explain in detail what happened and who was responsible for the crime. You will be asked to sign an affidavit by the police.
Step 3 - Report the Crime to the FBI
If the police, a government agency or another type of authority figure committed the crime, it should be reported to the FBI. It may fall under the ‘Color of Law’ statute, which protects individuals from unruly or criminal government agencies. Contact your local FBI office by telephone or mail, and explain exactly what sort of crime occurred and who was involved.
Step 4 - Speak to an Attorney
It’s important that individuals have someone on their side that knows about civil rights law, especially criminal civil rights violations. Most civil rights lawyers who specialize in this niche work on contingency, so payment shouldn’t be a motivating factor in the decision to contact an attorney. You may want to pursue a civil rights law suit against the individuals who committed the crimes.
Step 5 - Stay Updated of the Status
Keep in touch with the police or the FBI to stay abreast of what is happening in the criminal investigation of those who violated your american civil rights. If you’re pursuing a civil case, you may only be allowed to have certain information, but it’s important that you get at least that.