Civil Rights Reliable. Experienced. Knowledgeable.

Kansas City Civil Rights Attorneys

Advocating for Your Rights in Overland Park & Liberty

Civil rights are the foundation of what it means to be an American. These fundamental principles are intended to protect our freedom and dignity. Under these core protections, every person is entitled to live freely and without fear of discrimination and violence—regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, and other protected characteristics.

Sadly, many U.S. citizens are harmed by civil rights violations every day, threatening their ability to live peacefully in a nation that promotes liberty and justice for all. When your right to live with dignity and respect is threatened by police misconduct, workplace discrimination, or other civil rights violation, seeking sound counsel from a seasoned civil rights lawyer is imperative to safeguard your freedom.

At Gates Shields Ferguson Swall Hammond P.A., we know how frightening and frustrating it can be to endure dehumanizing treatment, especially at the hands of those in positions of power or authority. That’s why our civil rights attorneys are committed to protecting victims of civil rights violations in Overland Park and Liberty. With over 40 years of experience, our Kansas City lawyers have extensive knowledge of state and federal laws to ensure your safety and protect your future.

If your civil liberties were violated, our experienced lawyers can aggressively protect your rights. Contact us online to discuss your case.

What Is a Civil Rights Violation?

Understanding your civil rights as an American citizen can be confusing and difficult, especially for those without an in-depth understanding of U.S. laws and legalese. Fortunately, our highly skilled advocates are well-versed in state and federal laws, allowing us to protect citizens throughout Kansas City against unlawful civil rights violations. Common types of civil rights violations include:

  • Police brutality: As a U.S. citizen, you have the right to be treated fairly without undue violence by law enforcement officials. Police misconduct occurs when law enforcement uses excessive or unnecessary force against its citizens, such as physical violence, verbal attacks, psychological intimidation, or misuse of authority.
  • Hate crimes: These crimes are committed against citizens on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, or disability. For example, attacking someone from the LGBTQ+ community because of their sexual orientation is considered a hate crime and a serious civil rights violation.
  • Voter suppression: This extends to practices that prevent or discourage people from voting, particularly minority groups. If laws are enacted to make it unnecessarily difficult for certain groups to vote, this is a civil rights violation known as voter suppression.
  • Discrimination: Unlawful discrimination occurs when someone is treated unfairly based on their race, gender, religion, age, disability, or sexual orientation in areas like employment, housing, or education. For example, if you're not hired for a job because of your race, this is considered a civil rights violation.
  • Invasion of privacy: This occurs when a citizen’s private information or space is infringed upon without consent. For example, if the government wiretaps your phone without a warrant, this is considered a civil rights violation.
  • Government retaliation: If you've spoken out against a government entity or official and subsequently suffered unjust consequences, such as losing a job or benefits, this is known as government retaliation. This civil rights violation infringes on your First Amendment right to free speech.
  • Government defamation: This civil rights infraction occurs when a government official makes false statements that damage your reputation, hindering your ability to find employment or interact in your community without stigma.
  • Malicious prosecution: Being subjected to legal action without probable cause or for the purpose of harassment is a civil rights violation known as malicious prosecution. This infraction can result in unnecessary legal expenses and emotional distress for victims.
  • Abuse of process: This civil rights violation occurs when legal proceedings are exploited for ulterior purposes not intended by the law, such as intimidation or to force a settlement in an unrelated dispute. Abuse of process compromises the fairness of our legal system.
  • False arrest and imprisonment: False imprisonment is a blatant civil rights violation and severe encroachment on personal liberty. If you’re detained without proper legal justification, such as lacking probable cause or an arrest warrant, this constitutes a false arrest.
  • “Class of one” discrimination: This civil rights violation occurs when an individual is unjustly singled out for disparate treatment by government officials due to animosity or vindictiveness. Keep in mind that the act must occur uniquely and not because the individual is a member of a larger class (e.g., discriminating against a person based on race or gender).

Which Laws Protect My Civil Rights?

As a U.S. citizen, understanding the civil protections that safeguard your liberty and safety is paramount to avoid life-altering harm. Our trusted Midwest firm empowers and protects our clients by delivering the dependable advocacy they deserve, ensuring they have a full understanding of their legal options and rights. Below are some critical legal protections that serve to protect the civil rights of every citizen:

  • Freedom of speech: This is a First Amendment right that allows you to express your opinions freely without government interference. However, there are certain limitations, such as defamation and speech that incites violence.
  • Right to privacy: This protects against unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs. It's why law enforcement needs a warrant to search your home.
  • Equal protection: Under the 14th Amendment, you have the right to be treated equally under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, and other protected characteristics. This extends to areas like employment, housing, and education.
  • Voting rights: As a U.S. citizen, you have the right to vote in elections. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was specifically put in place to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented African Americans from exercising this right.
  • Freedom of religion: Another First Amendment protection, this prevents the government from establishing a national religion, favoring one religion over another, or infringing on your right to practice (or not practice) any religion.
  • Right to due process: If you're accused of a crime, you have the right to a fair and public trial. This includes the right to an attorney, the right to confront witnesses against you, and the right to a speedy trial.
  • Right to assemble: Under the First Amendment, you have the right to peacefully assemble to express your views. However, this right can be restricted if it interferes with public safety or the rights of others. It's critical to understand what constitutes "peaceful assembly" to ensure you're participating lawfully and hold offending parties, such as law enforcement or elected officials, accountable for violations.

Why Choose Gates Shields Ferguson Swall Hammond P.A.?

With over 260 years of combined experience, our passionate civil rights attorneys are well-equipped to protect your rights in Overland Park and Liberty. Some reasons to work with us include:

  • Comprehensive legal knowledge: Our team has over 40 years of hard-earned experience and a longstanding reputation for legal excellence to provide the reliable representation you need and deserve.
  • Proven track record of results: Our award-winning attorneys achieve extraordinary results for our clients throughout Kansas City, empowering them to take back their lives after injustice.
  • Client-focused counsel: We understand that we assist clients during some of life’s toughest seasons. When you work with us, you can trust our team to truly understand your unique situation, exercising empathy and compassion to prioritize your needs while making your personal goals our own.

Don’t wait to secure experienced representation when your life is threatened by injustice. If your civil rights were violated in Overland Park, Liberty, or the surrounding area, turn to a firm you can trust to keep your best interests at heart. Our lawyers are standing by ready to advocate for the favorable outcome you deserve.

If your civil liberties were violated, our civil rights lawyers can aggressively protect your rights. Call (800) 574-4428 to schedule a free consultation.


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Why Choose Us?

  • Experienced & Knowledgeable
    Not only does our team have over 260 years of combined legal experience, but we are always continuing to learn and staying current with developments in the law and the industries we serve.
  • Results Driven & Focused
    We carefully plan for each legal matter to develop a personalized strategy for achieving a great result. Careful planning is the first step in achieving great results, and your results are our first priority.
  • Client Focused & Personable
    We take our clients needs very seriously. We want our clients not only to feel like they have a trusted legal advisor but also that they are part of the strong Gates Shields family.
  • Empathic & Understanding
    We care about our clients. That is why we take the time to listen and communicate so we can truly understand your unique situation, make you feel comfortable with the process, and develop the best course of action.
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