The term "color of law" is used to describe an action that is done under the guise of following the law, while actually breaking the law. Rights that are protected by the color of law include the right to be free from discrimination, to vote, and to be free from unreasonable force. Simply stated, officers cannot abuse their position of authority by infringing on the rights of individuals.
The FBI is responsible for investigating color of law violations. Some of these violations include:
- False arrest
- Unlawful confiscation of property
- Falsifying records
- Use of cruel and unusual punishment during detainment
- Failure to keep others from harm
- Use of excessive force
- Sexual assault
- Deprivation of medical care
- Deprivation of the right to vote
Taught by FBI agents, the Color of Law class provides officers with a deeper understanding of the law and the limits which it imposes on their authority when executing certain actions. It also outlines the consequences of violating the civil rights of community members.
This class is required annually for all officers.