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Can we sue? How do we sue

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What is the name of your state? Arizona
My daughters were physically assaulted at the school bus stop by another student. The local police department was called. Even though witnesses told the officer that my daughters were attacked and had no choice but to fight back, they were cited for disorderly conduct and given a juvenile referral based on the officer's report. Under our states constitution, anyone has the right to use physical force in protection of themselves or a third person, which is what my daughter's were doing, protecting themselves and each other. One daughter has been suspended from a local Police explorers program, both were suspended from school for 9 and one half days, and served four days of community service for the school. Now they have been referred to the Juvenile Diversion department of the Juvenile Probation department for a misdemeanor offense and no one has taken seriously our charges that they were the victims of a physical assault. Can I sue the officer and police department for violating their rights, treating them as criminals or participants instead of the victims they were? How do I file? WHat do I file first?
In response to Jetx, we have seen the final report given by the police officer, there were four police officers total. One taped the accounts of our two daughters and one of the two witnesses then turned the tape over to the Officer who filed the report. We were told it held no evidentiary value and was destroyed, and the report quotes the witnesses as stating that my daughters were attacked. Punched in the back of the head, thrown into the street, slapped, scratched, and that they were attacked out of nowhere. The girl attacking came from across the street and there was no verbal exchange before hand. In order to clear the report, the officer then charged all three girls with disorderly conduct and sent them for juvenile refferal. In direct response to the officer's recommendation for referral, my daughters were suspended from school, made to work 16 hours of community service, and were referred to Juvenile Diversion of the Juvenile Probation Department without being given a chance to voice their side or have the only two witnesses to step forward speak on their behalf in front of a judge. Instead it went straight to penalty faze. In essence, the police department is punishing our daughters for being the victims of a crime on school grounds. The officer even refused to take the witnesses statements and called us all liars until his supervisor showed up on the scene, and we demanded that he make the officer take the witness statements. Still think the officer was in the right? I need to know. I know how hard it is to combat the Police Department in court, but our particular police department is well known for their racial and economical profiling, as well as abuse of power. Something has to be done and someone has to take a stand. Enough is enough, they are not God and owe every citizen of our town their protection and service. Thanks.
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Senior Member
"Can I sue the officer and police department for violating their rights, treating them as criminals or participants instead of the victims they were?"
*** Though you can possibly take legal action, since it would be against the local government, you would have to comply with the local rules (often requiring submitting a claim first, etc.). Unless you can show negligence or malicious conduct by the officer(s), they are immune from your complaint.
I would suggest though that, assuming an investigation was done by the officers, you are really not in a position to take action against them since you are not privy to ALL the facts. Presumably, you have only heard your daughters version and not seen the results of their investigation and witness statements. Also presumably, whoever set their punishments very probably did so after seeing the full report.

"How do I file? WHat do I file first?"
*** First thing you would need to do would be to retain the services of a local attorney who would be able to review the matter and the facts. Then, you may be in a better position to determine what, if any, action you might consider.

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