You can, but you'd be in a much stronger position with local and qualified counsel.
Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff
You can try to get Legal aid to help you. They work on a sliding fee based on your income. The ACLU is another option. Last option is to move to another jurisdiction where the police do not know you.
Although often times you do not need a lawyer for things, this is not one of them. This is beyond complicated and you need an attorney who does civil rights and section 1983 claims to guide you. There are short statutes of limitations and immunity issues to deal with as well as conditions precedent to suit. Go see a local attorney. If they can't help you, they can get you to someone who can.
Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Habberfield is licensed to practice law in the States of New York and Pennsylvania. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and time-lines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Habberfield strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to insure proper advice is received.
You have the right to represent yourself but the chances of any such claim being successful with you acting as your own lawyer is very small. Your better course is to find an attorney willing to handle the claim. If it is a strong claim you will not have to pay the lawyer to handle it--typically the case will be handled on a contingent fee basis--you only owe a few if the claim is successful. The fee will be taken out of the amount of the verdict or judgment. If there is no recovery then you owe nothing. The lawyer may also get his/her fee in cases like this from the other side.
If you feel this is the "best" answer or is "helpful," please indicate. Since I am limited to the information you provide, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the answer. You should seek the advise of an attorney who can explore all aspects of your question. This communication does not form an attorney client relationship.