An Informal Complaint With The Police Department

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Immediately following an adverse interaction with the police, an individual may choose to file a complaint with the relevant police department. Two different complaint formats, informal and formal, are generally accepted in both countries. An informal complaint offers the least opportunity for recoverysome relief, as the individual is merely making an oral statement to a responding officer. Further hindering the process is the inherently biased nature of the forum; an informal complaint is made to a coworker of the violating officer, who may have an interest in suppressing the claim. Studies indicate that a “code of silence” pervades many police departments, whereby members of a police agency collectively attempt to bury evidence of wrongdoing. Considering the unlikelihood that a party’s informal complaint will receive department recognition, the procedure is typically employed only where an individual has suffered minor complaints and does not plan to pursue legal relieflitigation.

Beyond informal complaint, a party can also present his claims by way of a formal complaint to the responsible police department. Formal complaints offer the individual a somewhat stronger channel within which he may present his argument, as the officer’s actions are presented in written format, rather than orally. Although a formal and informal complaint are similarly handled by a police department, where an officer’s co-workers receive the individual’s complaint, a written
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