Nashville Man Fatally Shot by Police
Surveillance video that was recently released by the District Attorney’s Office in Nashville shows the last few moments one man’s life. The 25-year-old can be seen running away from the officer who shot him after a traffic stop. Because the victim was black, and the officer who shot him is white, many people have questioned if racial bias played a role in the fatal shooting. The mayor of Nashville and that family of the victim are now demanding a full investigation into the situation.
Lawsuits Against Police
Most lawsuits that are filed against police involve some type of misconduct. In most situations, the police misconduct stems from the violation of a person’s civil rights. Most of the claims involve harassment, discrimination, false arrest, or excessive force. To sue a police department under a misconduct claim, you must be able to prove the following:
- Discrimination or Harassment – The victim, or the family, must prove that there was a pattern of this behavior rather than just one isolated incident.
- Victim Sustained a Serious Injury or Death – This applies in a situation that did not warrant using excessive force.
- The Fourth Amendment Rights of the Victim Were Violated – This involves proving that the police failed to have sufficient evidence or probable cause to arrest the victim in the first place.
Who Can Sue the Police?
Victims or the family of the victim if the individual died as a result of their injuries, may be able to sue an individual officer, the government that employed the officer, or supervisor of the officer that committed the action. Suing a municipality can be extremely difficult because of the doctrine of government immunity. This doctrine protects government entities from being sued.
What Damages May Be Obtained?
If you file a lawsuit against the police, you may be entitled to damages in the form of punitive, actual damages, or civil rights damages.
- Punitive Damages – These are damages awarded in addition to any actual damages and are intended as a punishment for the defendants.
- Actual Damages – These are damages for things such as pain and suffering, expenses related to the event such as medical or funeral costs, and loss of wages.
- Civil Rights Damages – These are damages for the violation of a person’s civil rights that were inflicted by the police officer.
What Are the Chances of Success?
The answer to this is extremely complicated and depends on the type of claim. Cases that are against the abuse of power, but have legal backing, are much more difficult to win. Lawsuits against police may be easier to prove if they involve negligence, intent, or excessive force.
Wrongful death lawsuits aren’t uncommon in police lawsuits either, as the law is less protective of the officers in this type of situation. Seeking legal representation in any situation that involves the police is imperative so you can understand exactly where your case stands and if the likelihood of a case being successful in court is a possibility.
Contact an Attorney Today
If you feel that you or your loved one has been the victim of police misconduct that led to serious injuries or even death, you may be entitled to a lawsuit and damages. Contact the attorneys at Calhoun Law, PLC today to schedule a consultation.