A family has filed suit against a police department after officers beat up their then 12-year-old daughter, who police believed to be a prostitute. The family seeks compensation for the police misconduct responsible for their daughter’s injuries.
Although this case takes place out-of-state, our injury lawyers in Raleigh want accident victims in North Carolina to be aware of how some cases of physical assaults are handled in other jurisdictions. The suit claims that 12-year-old Dymond Milburn was in the front yard of her home when three men jumped out of a van and began assaulting her, striking her in the face and throat. During the beating, one declared “You’re a prostitute. You’re coming with me."
Those three men were apparently plain-clothed Galveston police officers who were in the neighborhood searching for three white female prostitutes and a black male drug dealer. The suit says that the officers had no reason to assume the girl was a prostitute as she is African-American and thus does not fit the racial profile of the women police were searching for.
The suit says the officers were at the wrong house, two blocks away from the area of the reported illegal activity, and believed her to be a prostitute because she was wearing “tight shorts.”
After the incident, Milburn required treatment at a local hospital for black eyes and injuries to her eardrum and throat.
Three weeks after her stay in the hospital, Milburn was still in the process of healing when Galveston police came to her school and arrested her on charges of assaulting an officer. The case went to court, but was postponed until February due to a mistrial.
The altercation occurred just over two years ago. Since then, the suit claims that Milburn as suffered behavioral problems, nightmares, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Individuals who are the victim of physical assault are not necessarily limited in their rights to seek compensation for damages and losses that are not physical in nature. As showcased above, a victim of physical assault may work with an injury lawyer to establish a claim for emotional, psychological, and behaviorial damages. These intangible damages (especially for a young girl in the incident above) may have long-term effects. The girl may not be able to focus well on school work or manage a job as a result of the emotional damages stemming from this attack. If you or someone you know was the wrongful victim of a physical attack - the medical costs of their injuries alone are not the only expenses victims can pursue in a North Carolina injury claim. Let them know an injury attorney can help and that a consultation is free. Learn about North Carolina court costs for injury claims.