Tampa, FL asked in Constitutional Law and Civil Rights for Florida

Q: When following a police report against police officers they complaint is it legal not to pursue it

Can a superior officer disregard a complaint when you file against their officers thus due process violation of my civil rights can they legally throw that complaint away or not investigate it that's what they did I think

1 Lawyer Answer
Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Your inquiry is vague as to whether you are seeking money damages or discipline (or termination) of the offending police officer, or both. "Complaining to the police dept." (or to a superior officer) may be viewed as an internal affairs complaint for the purpose of the dept. determining if the officer should be disciplined or fired (NOT with any potential monetary relief to you), and a police department's (or superior officer's) decision not to investigate the complaint is not, in itself, a violation of any of your civil rights. Also, simply complaining to a superior officer might not be viewed as an internal affairs complaint at all, as the dept. likely had a separate process for such a complaint. (You'd need to ask how you file an internal affairs complaint.) If, on the other hand, what you desire is an award of money damages due to wrongful police acts, you have to follow particular legal procedures that include a notice of claim to the appropriate legal entity (which is likely NOT the police dept., and definitely NOT a superior officer). Consult an attorney in your area who handles police misconduct cases.

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