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Question: “my 17 year old son (minor) was attacked both physically and verbally by 2 city of Tampa employees in regards to "Racial Prejudice".Are their legal grounds to Presenting a claim?”
Answer: There are two possible avenues available to you. It sounds like you are already attempting to obtain justice with the first available route…seeking criminal charges. If the police are dragging their feet, then you can attempt to go over them by contacting the district attorney (DA) who would prosecute the fireman. The DA will probably be less likely to “protect” a city employee than the police (if that’s what is happening). You can also contact your local news stations and ask if they would be willing to do a story about it. The negative press may force the issue and embarrass the police into action.
The second route is to seek justice in a civil court. You can sue the fireman for assault and battery, and possibly other torts such as intentional infliction of emotional distress. If you were to file suit, you would be able to subpoena the CCTV tape to use as evidence. Obviously if you go that route, you will need to hire a local personal injury attorney. The amount of money that you stand to win depends on your son’s injuries, and the outrageousness of the act in question. The lawyer would likely work on a contingency fee basis, which means you would not need to pay him up front, and he would instead take a cut of the winnings. With regard to suing in civil court, you likely would not have a case against the city unless the fireman was somehow representing the city when the incident occurred. In other words, he would need to be acting within the scope of his employment, rather than just being a jerk who happens to be employed by the city.
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