dont let the fact that this federal law runs alongside two pro-negro civil rights laws confuse you. they were all passed after the civil war to bully Southern state officials into letting Negroes run amuck. But, today, anybody can sue a state official under section 1983, and it happens quit a bit in "police brutality" cases.
But folks can't file frivolous claims or federal courts will impose "rule 11 sanctions" for sure.
Here's an article about this kind of action:
Anyhow, that's a digression from the card thing, which I think is OK without reference to section 1983. Believe me, the average cop knows that his department can be sued for his misconduct, and moreover, that if it's really egregious-- the employer can hang the cop out to dry-- ie, make him defend the case on his own, at his own expense, and face personal liability.