Does my brother have any recourse from being arrested since it is believed that he was being harrassed by the police officer?

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Does my brother have any recourse from being arrested since it is believed that he was being harrassed by the police officer?

What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? ArizonaMy brother was in the parking lot of his apartment complex along with some associates who were hispanic, my brother is black finishing a beer. The officer asked all of them to line up to check IDs, as my brother was putting down his can, the officer began to rough house my brother, grabbed him, threw him on the ground, handcuffed dragged, pulled him up, walked to the car, slammed him against the car some more, then pushed him into the car. His charge was Resisting Arrest, now added 2 more, Obstruction of Gov. Oper. & Open Container.

Asked on June 19, 2009 under Criminal Law, Arizona

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Technically, your brother may have a civil rights lawsuit against the police officers arising out of their misconduct and any damages that your brother received.  42 U.S.C. sec 1983, otherwise known as the federal tort claims act, allows for monetary recovery for constitutional violations, such as these.  However, if your brother does not have the underlying criminal charges resolved favorably (i.e., dismissed or found not guilty), it will be impossible for him to bring a civil rights lawsuit on this basis.  Moreover, there are other potential obstacles towards suing the police, including what seems like, based upon the facts that you have provided, a lack of significant damages (i.e., no broken bones, he was not tased or shot, etc.)  Additionally, civil rights lawsuits are often very expensive to prosecute.

Nevertheless, based upon the facts that you have provided, your brother's case may be defensible.  Therefore, I recommend that your brother consult with and/or retain a criminal defense attorney in the interest of obtaining the best possible resolution of these charges.


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