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Imbroglio
05-06-2014, 05:27 AM
So, in the short story I'm writing, my main character is detained by a police officer for drunkenly fighting in the street with another guy. When he is forced onto the ground and cuffed, he gets angry and mouths off to the cop because he was defending himself from the other guy and feels like he's being punished unjustly. The cop loses his cool a little because of what my MC says and when he pulls him up by the handcuffs, he does it so roughly that it dislocates my MC's shoulder.

As of right now, I have it written that the cop responsible for dislocating the shoulder, nervous about what he's done, chooses to ignore the issue altogether hoping that he can just say that my MC must have dislocated it himself while struggling in the back of the cop car or something.

Would this fly? If not, what would happen after this?

I've been doing a lot of searching online but I can't find a specific answer anywhere.

He's also rather bloody because of the fight that he had just been in, but his nose isn't broken or anything.

Either way, when he's checked into the station and put into the drunk tank, wouldn't someone else notice and take action?

Any help is very, very appreciated!

Ketzel
05-06-2014, 06:59 AM
I'm guessing you've never dislocated a shoulder? It is an unbelievably painful experience. Your character would be screaming, possibly vomiting, possibly passing out. A cop facing that in the course of an arrest would have little choice but to get him right to the hospital. Transporting him to the station in that condition would, all by itself, be grounds for a lawsuit, even if the cop hadn't caused the injury.

I'm thinking your cop needs to do something a little less dramatic if he really wants to pretend nothing happened during the arrest.

jclarkdawe
05-06-2014, 07:15 AM
If not before, it would be noticed when they processed him.

You're natural desire when injured is to assume a position of comfort. In the case of a dislocated shoulder, you support the arm with your other hand. Unsupported, and you're going to be screaming.

If he was bloody from a fight, an ambulance would have been called to assess him. Even without an ambulance, the other police would notice. The dislocated shoulder tends to droop.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Ketzel
05-06-2014, 07:25 AM
In the case of a dislocated shoulder, you support the arm with your other hand. Unsupported, and you're going to be screaming. Yes, and bear in mind, your cop has him in cuffs.

Imbroglio
05-06-2014, 09:25 AM
I'm guessing you've never dislocated a shoulder? It is an unbelievably painful experience. Your character would be screaming, possibly vomiting, possibly passing out. A cop facing that in the course of an arrest would have little choice but to get him right to the hospital. Transporting him to the station in that condition would, all by itself, be grounds for a lawsuit, even if the cop hadn't caused the injury.

I'm thinking your cop needs to do something a little less dramatic if he really wants to pretend nothing happened during the arrest.

I haven't, but my sister has on many occasions, so that's the experience I'm working from. Of course, my MC's main reaction is to writhe and scream out of control. I know that much. It was the legal stand-point I was unsure about, so that was helpful, thanks!

In the course of the story it is just as useful for him to be transported to a hospital, I think, rather than go to jail at that moment.

Imbroglio
05-06-2014, 10:04 AM
If he was bloody from a fight, an ambulance would have been called to assess him. Even without an ambulance, the other police would notice. The dislocated shoulder tends to droop.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Ah, interesting. I guess knowing that my character hasn't sustained serious damage from the fight doesn't suggest that the police officers know that. Thanks for the info.

ironmikezero
05-06-2014, 09:05 PM
When the arresting officer books someone (jail or holding facility), the intake officer makes note of the subject's condition. Obvious trauma/health issues must be addressed right away (typically transported to a hospital) before accepting custody.

Agencies holding arrested persons are responsible for their well being, to include (non-elective) primary medical care.