What happens when the police mishandle a volatile situation? You might hope that the officers in charge would take a step back and try to correct their errors, right?

Well, you might be disappointed — or outright horrified by what happens, instead. That’s what happened to a Minneapolis family in August, 2019, when the matriarch called authorities because of a fight between her three children.

According to the officers, they were outnumbered, assaulted with kicks and blows to the head, so they had to fight back and call for reinforcements. According to the family, the officers reacted with excessive force, tasing one sibling so badly that her brother felt compelled to try to shield her with his own body.

Body camera footage seems to contradict the version of the story put out by police and the Hennepin County Attorney recently dropped the assault charges against the three siblings — but no discipline has been enforced against the officers involved.

Activists in the area say that victims of police brutality and excessive force often end up unfairly charged with violent crimes — which puts them on the defensive instead of keeping the focus on the police. As one activist said, “Whenever we have an encounter with police, it’s reversed on us that we hit them, we attacked them.” Activists are currently pushing for a meeting with the police chief, mayor and county attorney to discuss the issue.

Just because the police press charges against someone for assaulting an officer or something similar doesn’t mean the case is air-tight. An experienced criminal defense attorney knows to look beyond the charges and into the motivations of the officers involved. Fighting back starts with obtaining strong representation as soon as possible.