I think the probability of getting any money out of the police department/city is extremely low. The officer may have been completely unjustified in what he did, but it does not sound like your husband suffered any meaningful injury and does not appear to have sought any medical attention. So assuming you were to sue and your case survived long enough to get to a jury, I do not see a jury awarding significant money damages.
If you want to make sure it doesn't happen to someone else, your husband should file a formal complaint about the excessive force. I've added a civil rights tag to you post since attorneys with more expertise in that area may see things differently.
Disclaimer: answers posted by attorney Daragh Carter to questions posted on AVVO are NOT privileged or confidential and will not and should not be construed to create an attorney-client relationship between attorney Daragh Carter and you or anyone else.
I would tend to agree. Can you sue? Yes, but what is the likely outcome from a personal injury standpoint. It seems that you may not have much, if any, quantifiable monetary damages.
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Whether or not it is worthwhile to pursue a claim will depend on whether or not your husband has sustained a lasting injury. Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney ASAP as there are probably short notice requirements that must be complied with.
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Civil Rights cases are tough, and if your husband suffered no permanent injuries, you may have difficulties finding an experienced attorney to take the case. You options are limited... find an attorney to pursue a case with limited value, file a complaint with the police department, or do nothing and move on. The choice is yours, but I would stay away from crime scenes, and tell you that the case law and appellate decisions are stacked in favor of the police, as they have a tough job to do.
Contact the NAACP. Your husband may not have enough injury to cover the cost of pursuing it as a practical matter, but you should still make what happened known. This may be an isolated incident, but it never hurts to compare notes with other potential incidents.
This is not legal advice. You should always discuss the specifics of your issue in person with an attorney. Be aware that there are time limits on all claims that depend on the kind of claim, so do not delay in seeking an attorney.
Generally speaking, the government has immunity, unless it agrees to waive its immunity. Normally, immunity is wavied for injuries caused by the use of automobiles and some other instrumentalities. Since your husband was not injured by those means, I believe it would be difficult, if not impossible to prove that immunity was waived so that a personal injury lawsuit could be pursued. However, you always have the right to bring suit for the violation of your husband's civil rights, but those cases are a big commitment of time and resources and you would need to speak to a lawyer who specializes in civil rights cases to determine if your situation lends itself to such.
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