Kwamesha Sharp, 17, claims that she was attacked by the Harvey Police Department. She had just left a doctor’s appointment and was heading to a friend’s house. When she arrived, there was a commotion. When she tried to figure out what was happening, an officer tackled her, reports ABC 7.
Normally, this would fly under the radar. Cops tackle people all of the time. Usually, there’s little or no damage, beyond hurt feelings. Unfortunately, Sharp was pregnant with her second child.
Sharp said that she notified the officer of her pregnancy and then tried to stay on her side while being restrained. The officer flipped her over and put his knee on her stomach, pinning her, and her unborn child to the ground. She claims that she was denied medical attention once she was thrown into the squad car.
She miscarried a week later.
The police department sees things differently. They told ABC that they responded to an assault call. Sharp attempted to physically interfere with the investigation by hitting and kicking Officer Jones. Officer Jones did not use excessive force and was unaware that Sharp was pregnant, according to the police.
So, who do you believe? Most of these cases come down to “he said, she said.”
However, Harvey PD has a problematic past. Earlier this year, the Department of Justice finished an investigation into the department and stated that it has “serious concerns regarding the potential for excessive uses of forces by Harvey Police Department officers.”
So, a police department with violent tendencies allegedly got excessively violent with a pregnant woman. We’ve seen a lot of these excessive force cases lately.
When an officer uses force beyond that which is necessary to effectuate the arrest and protect herself from danger, an excessive force lawsuit becomes a strong possibility.
The most common type of lawsuit in police misconduct cases is the Section 1983 lawsuit, which simply alleges that the victim’s civil rights were violated. Section 1983 of the U.S. Code makes it unlawful for anyone, under the color of law, to deprive someone of their rights guaranteed by the Constitution or federal law.
Typically, claims such as false arrest, malicious prosecution, and excessive force are tacked on to the Section 1983 lawsuit.