Chicago-resident Cherese Morris was only two months pregnant when police arrested her so forcefully she claims it caused a miscarriage.
Morris says she was talking on her cell phone on the night of the arrest back in 2011. The police treated her roughly during the arrest, 'violently' put her face-down in the back of the squad car and tased her until she passed out, according to the complaint.
Two weeks later, Morris lost her baby. Now she's turned to the legal system for justice.
The claim against the police department alleges excessive force and wanton misconduct against the two arresting officers. It also includes a third officer in claims of conspiracy and cover up.
The police chief is also included in the suit and is accused of negligent training and supervision.
Following the arrest Morris was charged her with domestic battery, criminal damage to property, battery and resisting a peace officer. But the first two charges were later dropped and the third was not pursued by Cook County, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
Then in August, Morris allegedly tried to file a formal complaint against the police department. An officer told her to come back another time and then later told her she couldn't file a claim.
Suing police or other government officials for injuries can be difficult because their actions are often immune from liability.
Under federal law and most states' law, government officials are immune from liability for injuries that come from the official's required work. But if the official's actions overstep the boundaries of their necessary work, such as using excessive force, immunity no longer applies.
The rules of immunity require some legal knowledge so don't to ask the official who wronged you about filing a complaint. If police or other government agents treated you inappropriately, get advice from an attorney on whether you have a legal claim.
This isn't the first incident of a pregnant Chicago woman being the victim of unnecessary force by police, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. In June Tiffany Rent filed a similar suit against police in federal court after being tased at eight months pregnant.
- Taser Lawsuit Highlights Risks of Taser Deaths (FindLaw's Injured)
- Chicago Cops: A Taser In Every Squad Car? (FindLaw's Chicago Criminal Law Blog)
- Ninth Circuit: Tasering Pregnant Woman is Excessive Force (FindLaw's Ninth Circuit Blog)