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Probably a really high correlation between the vaccine refuseniks and the hard-arse racist element in the police force so - win-win. FKT

If cops aren't held accountable mistrust spreads in the population, which in the end endangers both cops and ordinary citizens.

I guess there's a reason it isn't called unqualified immunity. 

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17 hours ago, Mark K said:

  Not at all. Qualified immunity for police officers is not the same as qualified immunity for everybody.  

The City of Euclid isn't an officer. It's a city.

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Euclid might be a city, not a cop, but it still got qualified immunity. SCOTUS is letting it slide.

A City Got Protections From Qualified Immunity After a Cop Killed a Man. SCOTUS Won't Hear the Case.
 

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Since May of 2020, discussions of police reform have been a mainstay among different corners of American society: the chattering classes, the politicians, the protesters, the public at large. Central to that conversation has been qualified immunity, the legal doctrine that prohibits victims of government abuse from suing state actors unless the exact way their rights were infringed on has been addressed in a prior court ruling. Over the last year, Congress has moved from refusing to rectify the issue to considering reining it in significantly.

Yet those efforts took a blow Monday when the Supreme Court declined to intervene in a major case that promises to further obstruct people from holding the government accountable when their rights are violated.

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A jury in civil court could deduce that Rhodes infringed on Stewart's constitutional rights, said the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit last August. One would assume so. But the court then turned around and awarded the officer qualified immunity, barring Stewart's estate from suing.

This story isn't really about Rhodes, however. It's about Euclid, and the 6th Circuit's decision to extend qualified immunity protections to the city—a ruling that directly contradicts Supreme Court precedent.

"The Supreme Court is simply buying itself some time," says Anya Bidwell, a nutjob at the Institute for Justice. "There is little doubt that the 6th Circuit is misreading the high court's precedent by extending qualified immunity protections to municipalities. And we are already seeing this unfortunate trend percolating through other circuit courts. It is just a matter of time before the Supreme Court will have to confront the issue."

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Can Republicans Be Persuaded To Restrict Qualified Immunity?

Probably not, it seems, but the article also goes into why that might be a bad idea.
 

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Sen. Tim Scott (R–S.C.), who last year introduced a police reform bill that did not address qualified immunity at all, lately has been floating the idea of allowing lawsuits against police departments rather than individual officers. That approach would not change the allocation of financial responsibility, since local governments already routinely cover the cost of settlements and damage awards. From 2006 to 2011, Schwartz found in a survey of 44 large police departments, "governments paid approximately 99.98% of the dollars that plaintiffs recovered in lawsuits alleging civil rights violations by law enforcement." But Scott's suggestion would allow federal courts to declare police misconduct unlawful and award compensation in cases that otherwise would be dismissed based on qualified immunity.

What are the odds that such a compromise could win approval from both houses of Congress? In a May 18 letter to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.), the American Civil Liberties Union and 87 other organizations said even the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act does not go far enough, because it ends qualified immunity only for cops and not for other government officials. That omission, they argue, effectively codifies a court-invented doctrine that is inconsistent with the text and history of 42 USC 1983—a doctrine that the Supreme Court recently has taken tentative steps to restrict and might one day decide to abandon altogether.

Any federal legislation that addresses qualified immunity without completely eliminating it, including whatever bill Scott might eventually produce, would have the same problem. Since Senate Republicans view the outright abolition of qualified immunity as a non-starter, insisting on that result effectively means that the doctrine's future will depend on whether five justices eventually decide it was a mistake.

 

 

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Another stupid drug war no-knock raid. Another wrong house. And again, Qualified Impunity.
 

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That "carefully planned" raid went awry when officers went to the correct address—which housed a suspected drug dealer, courtesy of a confidential informant—and it looked a bit different than expected. "When they arrived at the residence, it did not match the description from the Task Force briefing because the house had been abandoned and looked like a 'storage out-building' rather than a habitable residence, as the briefing explained," the panel noted. "This mismatch led members of the Response Team to conclude that the house next door, Norris's house, must be the actual target residence."

Norris's house, which was yellow, also did not match the target residence, which was described in briefing materials as "off-white." That didn't deter the officers. Agent Jermaine Hicks of the Flint Circuit Drug Task Force testified that while he told officers the search warrant had detailed information on the house, "he did not recall anyone reviewing [it] at the briefing nor any Response Team agent reviewing the warrant before the briefing." For his part, Cody said he checked for a signature, verified it permitted no-knock entry, and confirmed the address, but declined to read it "all the way through."

Thanks to Cody's apparently unique style of carelessness, Norris will be unable to bring his case before a jury to ask for damages. Surmounting qualified immunity wouldn't have given him a settlement; it would merely give him the right to argue his case in civil court.

Perhaps most outrageously, Norris provided the court with another precedent—Treat v. Lowe—that ruled similar conduct unconstitutional. But the 11th Circuit denied that the 2016 case had any bearing because the Court opted to leave it "unpublished." In other words, Cody could not have known his behavior was wrong because the decision was not contained in a physical book of case law—even though it is publicly available online. Somewhat maddeningly, the 11th Circuit also declined to publish their opinion in Norris.

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On 5/25/2021 at 4:44 AM, Excoded Tom said:

Then they went back to doing their usual thing.

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After losing in the 5th Circuit, José asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up his case. Today, the Court refused.

 

In Hail Mary attempt news,

Jose Oliva asking SCOTUS for rehearing
 

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José filed a lawsuit against the federal officers to enforce his Fourth Amendment rights. He prevailed at the district court level, where the judge ruled that the officers were not entitled to qualified immunity since their behavior was clearly unconstitutional. But the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court, holding that—even if the officers were not entitled to qualified immunity—they were absolutely immune because the officers happened to work for the federal, rather than state, government. They could not be sued.

“This holding is clearly erroneous,” explained Anya Bidwell, a nutjob with the Institute for Justice. “The constitution applies with the same rigor to federal police as it does to state police. But last month, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant José’s petition for certiorari and reverse the 5th Circuit’s ruling. As a result, more than 18,000 federal police in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi are left without any judicial oversight for constitutional violations.”

What’s worse, this decision is already having a cancerous impact. It has spread to other circuit courts around the nation, giving judges an excuse to ignore gross violations of individual rights by federal government officials.

That’s why, in light of all the other decisions that are now providing absolute immunity to federal police, José is asking the Supreme Court to give his petition another look and consider granting it.

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Nicholas Gilbert Died After Cops Shackled Him and Held Him Facedown. A Court Said That Was Constitutional. SCOTUS Isn't So Sure.
 

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In December of 2015, Nicholas Gilbert died in a cell at the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD). A lawsuit filed by his parents was dismissed by two federal courts, thrown out before mother Jody Lombardo and father Brian Gilbert could make their case before a jury.

The Supreme Court revived it yesterday, writing that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit failed to properly assess the constitutionality of the officers' use of the prone restraint, kneeling on Gilbert's back as he lay shackled on the ground.

The move is part of a recent willingness by the Court to push back against myopic decisions in qualified immunity and excessive force suits.

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To be sure, the Supreme Court did not make a decision about whether or not the force was excessive. It merely asked the lower court to reconsider with its counsel in tow.

In dissent, Justice Samuel Alito took issue with that approach. "We have two respectable options: deny review of the fact-bound question that the case presents or grant the petition, have the case briefed and argued, roll up our sleeves, and decide the real issue," he wrote. "I favor the latter course, but what we should not do is take the easy out that the Court has chosen."

Some are a bit more optimistic. "This is significant in that the Court vacated a bad decision employing a very restrictive framework for evaluating excessive force cases. It is important to emphasize, though, that ultimately the defendants in Lombardo may still receive qualified immunity," says Anya Bidwell, a nutjob at the Institute for Justice, a nutty law firm. "But we'll take it one step at a time."

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Trump Judicial Appointees Clash Over Qualified Immunity and 'the Woke Constitution'
 

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The two jurists clashed openly in Cole v. Hunter (2019), a case involving a family's lawsuit over the police shooting of their mentally disturbed teenage son. Willett conceded that controlling SCOTUS precedent left the lower court with no choice but to give the officers qualified immunity. So Willett blasted away at the precedent. "The real-world functioning of modern immunity practice—essentially 'heads government wins, tails plaintiffs lose'—leaves many victims violated but not vindicated," he wrote.

Ho did not like the sound of that. "Some have criticized the doctrine of qualified immunity as ahistorical and contrary to the Founders' Constitution," Ho wrote, joined by another Trump appointee, Judge Andrew Oldham, citing Willett and other critics of the doctrine. According to Ho and Oldham, Willett's "one-sided approach" is too anti-cop. "Originalism for plaintiffs, but not for police officers," they wrote, "is not principled judging."

Willett and Ho butted heads over qualified immunity again last week. Ramirez v. Guadarrama arose from a horrific incident in which police officers tased a suicidal man who was drenched in gasoline, setting him on fire, killing him, and burning down his house. As Reason's Jacob Sullum observed, "Gabriel Eduardo Olivas doused himself with gasoline, but it was the cops who set him on fire. They were there to help him."

The 5th Circuit ruled in February that the officers who tased Olivas were entitled to qualified immunity. Willett argued in a June dissent that the full 5th Circuit should have reheard the case, which was originally decided by a three-judge panel.

"The panel held that tasing a combustible Olivas did not violate his constitutional protection against excessive force," Willett wrote. "More to the point, [the panel held that] such a claim was not even facially plausible. I have a different view: 'As the facts are alleged…the [Fourth] Amendment violation is obvious.'"

Once again, Ho did not like the sound of that. "Reasonable people can disagree with the doctrine of qualified immunity" and "with what the police officers did here," Ho lectured Willett. But "as judges, we apply our written Constitution, not a woke Constitution." Needless to say, "woke Constitution" was not intended as a compliment.

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Being anti rogue cop is kinda the opposite of being anti cop.

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A Qualified Immunity Compromise Is Crumbling. You Can Thank the Law Enforcement Lobby.
 

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...Any movement on qualified immunity was seen as a nonstarter when Donald Trump was president, but a group of Republicans led by Sen. Tim Scott (R–S.C.) showed an increased willingness to work out a reform during this congressional session. While the GOP would not acquiesce to letting victims sue individual police officers, Scott announced that he would be open to having departments foot the bill for misconduct.

That compromise now appears to be crumbling. Though the Fraternal Order of Police had told Sen. Cory Booker (D–N.J.) it was open to the proposal, two other cop lobbies, the National Sheriffs' Association and the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), have now weighed in on the other side.

In a meeting led by Scott and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.), the sheriffs rejected the idea that their departments would have to take the heat for rogue officers' actions. Meanwhile, NAPO sent its members a message headlined "Urgent, Action Needed! Senator Booker Proposes Horrible Police Reform Bill."

Some Republicans now want to move in the opposite direction: They want qualified immunity—a creation of the U.S. Supreme Court—to be codified into federal statute. Alternatively, Graham has proposed letting departments be sued but only for cases involving death and serious bodily injury, which he calls a "sweet spot."

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Writing it into law might not be such a bad idea, despite the source. It would depend how one qualifies for immunity. The current method of looking to see if someone has misbehaved in that exact way in a prior court case just winds up granting immunity to those who are creative in their misbehavior.

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Another stupid drug war no-knock raid on the wrong house.

Texas Cops Realized They Raided the Wrong House. They Kept Searching Anyway.
 

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In November of 2018, Lucil Basco of Bexar County, Texas, awoke to a thunderous boom, followed by a parade of eight cops barging through her front door. She was handcuffed, and, with her screaming child, removed from the premises. The officers soon realized they made a mistake: They had the wrong house, based on incorrect information from a confidential informant. Yet they continued the operation anyway.

Three of those Bexar County sheriff's deputies—James Hancock, Jacob Rodriguez, and Bryan Smith—are not entitled to qualified immunity, the legal doctrine that allows state actors to violate your rights if the precise scenario in question has not yet been ruled unconstitutional in a prior court precedent. They can thus be sued for it, a federal court said this week.

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"Here, it is undisputed that law enforcement had the wrong address," notes the court. "The video evidence…shows that law enforcement remained in the home after the sweep was concluded….That the home was damaged during the raid is [also] undisputed." Basco was handcuffed, and, according to the video evidence presented to the court, those cuffs were not removed immediately after the cops realized they had targeted an innocent woman.

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Although Basco overcame qualified immunity at the district level, she is still a long way off from seeing any sort of justice or compensation. The state will almost certainly appeal the decision, which is a yearslong process. Presiding over the case will be the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, which arguably boasts one of the most sordid track records on the subject.

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So we'll see what the 5th Circuit has to say. Given their record, Basco should not be optimistic.

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They don't want no stinking immunity...pussies.

 

S.F. sheriff's deputies threaten resignations over city's vaccination mandate 

 

The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department will see a wave of resignations if the city enforces its policy requiring vaccinations for its employees, according to the Deputy Sheriff’s Association, the union representing sheriff’s deputies.

Mandated vaccines, “will result in law enforcement officers and fire fighters retiring early and seeking employment elsewhere,” the union wrote on its Facebook page Thursday.

“Public safety of San Francisco has turned into the Wild West and will get worse when officers quit due to the vaccine mandate.”

Union President Ken Lomba said he’s heard threats of resigning or retiring early because of the mandatory vaccine policy “from a large group within our membership.”

Officials with the city’s Department of Human Resources issued a Friday statement sharply denouncing the union’s stance, particularly in light of the highly transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus.

“There is also an undue and unacceptable health and safety risk that is imposed upon the city, our employees and the public we serve, by those who are not vaccinated against COVID-19,” officials said. “Vaccines are safe, effective and readily available to our employees.”

City employees may be granted an exemption from the vaccine for medical or religious reasons.

Out of 3,000 San Franciscans who have been hospitalized with COVID-19, only 16 came from “breakthrough” cases, health officials said last week. There have been no deaths among the fully vaccinated in San Francisco.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/S-F-sheriff-s-deputies-threaten-resignations-16370801.php

 

 

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7 hours ago, badlatitude said:

They don't want no stinking immunity...pussies.

 

S.F. sheriff's deputies threaten resignations over city's vaccination mandate 

 

The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department will see a wave of resignations if the city enforces its policy requiring vaccinations for its employees, according to the Deputy Sheriff’s Association, the union representing sheriff’s deputies.

Mandated vaccines, “will result in law enforcement officers and fire fighters retiring early and seeking employment elsewhere,” the union wrote on its Facebook page Thursday.

“Public safety of San Francisco has turned into the Wild West and will get worse when officers quit due to the vaccine mandate.”

Union President Ken Lomba said he’s heard threats of resigning or retiring early because of the mandatory vaccine policy “from a large group within our membership.”

Officials with the city’s Department of Human Resources issued a Friday statement sharply denouncing the union’s stance, particularly in light of the highly transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus.

“There is also an undue and unacceptable health and safety risk that is imposed upon the city, our employees and the public we serve, by those who are not vaccinated against COVID-19,” officials said. “Vaccines are safe, effective and readily available to our employees.”

City employees may be granted an exemption from the vaccine for medical or religious reasons.

Out of 3,000 San Franciscans who have been hospitalized with COVID-19, only 16 came from “breakthrough” cases, health officials said last week. There have been no deaths among the fully vaccinated in San Francisco.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/S-F-sheriff-s-deputies-threaten-resignations-16370801.php

 

 

Probably a really high correlation between the vaccine refuseniks and the hard-arse racist element in the police force so - win-win.

FKT

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6 minutes ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Probably a really high correlation between the vaccine refuseniks and the hard-arse racist element in the police force so - win-win.

FKT

With a heavy dusting of stupid on top.

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A clinical counselor I know is hired by the local Vancouver PD to counsel cops.

She says the ones she deals with (obviously not the whole force but a number of them) are people that really like to bully people around and have serious control issues.

If the senior guys retire, hire young recruits. They will have less seniority, will thus cost less, and being younger, might be a bit more enlightened.

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4 hours ago, Zonker said:

A clinical counselor I know is hired by the local Vancouver PD to counsel cops.

She says the ones she deals with (obviously not the whole force but a number of them) are people that really like to bully people around and have serious control issues.

Same with cops everywhere. My GF was working for one of the not for profits providing accommodation to people just out of prison or trying to transition from living on the streets back to some form of regular accommodation and hopefully employment. She had a number of run-ins with the cops bullying her clients and attempting to bully her. Which doesn't work well with a 152cm tall woman with a very low tolerance for crap and a CCTV system set up to record everything.

They learned to avoid her like the plague after a number of complaints backed by video footage went to their superiors. Didn't stop their attitudes but it DID stop them doing it in or outside the accommodation building once they realised that the CCTV coverage was pretty comprehensive.

She freely said that some, indeed a lot, of the clients were arseholes and should be back in jail, but that wasn't the point. She also had the rep of calling the cops at the slightest sign of fights or drug dealing within the premises, never getting into arguments, just calling the cops. Funnily enough she had respect for taking no shit from anyone. Eventually it all got too stressful though and she left.

you'd think the cops wouldn't come because she'd dropped a number in the shit but they did - the decent ones outnumbered the arseholes, they just weren't going to drop their colleagues in the shit. Which is a big part of the problem with cops.

FKT

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Federal Impunity is worse than Qualified Impunity
 

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For years, St. Paul police officer Heather Weyker was swamped. She gathered evidence, cultivated witnesses, filled out the police reports, testified under oath—all in connection with an interstate sex trafficking ring run by Somali refugees. But perhaps most impressive is that she did all that while fabricating the same ring she was investigating, which resulted in 30 indictments, 9 trials, and 0 convictions.

Hamdi Mohamud, then a 16-year-old refugee from Somalia, found herself caught up in that scheme in 2011, when one of Weyker's witnesses, Muna Abdulkadir, tried to attack her and her friends at knifepoint. Mohamud called the police, and Weyker intervened—on behalf of Abdulkadir. She arrested Mohamud and her friends for allegedly tampering with a federal witness, and Mohamud subsequently spent two years in jail before the trumped-up charges were dismissed.

While Mohamud lost those two years of her life, Weyker has not paid any price—not in spite of her position, but because of it. Since the officer conducted her investigation as part of a federal task force, she is entitled to absolute immunity and cannot be sued, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit ruled last year.

It's not because the "sex trafficking" investigation—which consisted of Weyker conjuring fake information, editing police reports, fabricating evidence, and lying under oath, among other things—was legitimate. On the contrary, the court says it was "plagued with problems from the start" and notes that Weyker employed "lies and manipulation" to put people behind bars. Legally speaking, none of that matters.

What does matter is a line of Supreme Court jurisprudence that has made suing a rights-violating federal officer almost out of the question. Had Weyker acted in her capacity as a state or local cop, Mohamud would have been permitted to bring her claim before a jury of her peers. Yet the most powerful officers are held to the lowest standard of accountability.

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The United States District Court for the District of Minnesota ruled that Weyker's actions so clearly made a mockery of the Constitution that she could not skirt the suit. The 8th Circuit then overturned that decision on appeal, citing Weyker's temporary federal badge, while in the same breath acknowledging the depravity of her actions.

"Qualified immunity makes it very, very difficult to sue government officials," says Patrick Jaicomo, a nutjob at the Institute for Justice, the nutty public interest law firm representing Mohamud. "This makes it impossible."

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 2/8/2020 at 7:20 AM, Excoded Tom said:

Prosecutor Qualified Immunity?
 

As usual, I'm happy to see ACLU Inc exercising its corporate first amendment right to express itself politically by filing civil rights lawsuits.

I don't think illegally issuing subpoenas or illegally imprisoning people is part of a prosecutor's official duties.

The 5th Circuit agreed

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We AFFIRM the district court’s holding that Individual Defendants are not  entitled  to  absolute  immunity  for  their  alleged  creation  and  use  of  fraudulent subpoenas.  We DISMISS the remainder of Defendants’ appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

But there's also more prosecutorial immunity news. Jackie Johnson is in trouble for running a "friends and family" program.

Here's a Rarity: A Former Prosecutor Is Facing Criminal Charges for Violating Her Oath of Office
 

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A grand jury on Thursday indicted a former prosecutor for allegedly using her power to protect the men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, a Georgia man who was chased through a neighborhood before being shot and killed in February of last year.

Jackie Johnson, who for a decade served as the district attorney in the Brunswick Judicial Circuit, is charged with violating her oath of office, which is a felony, and hindering a law enforcement officer, which is a misdemeanor.

While it's too early to predict an outcome, the mere fact that a former prosecutor is facing accountability for potential misconduct is remarkable.

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The erstwhile prosecutor, who lost reelection in November 2020, has maintained her innocence and says she recused herself right away because Greg, the older McMichael, used to be her employee.

But the indictment against her tells a different story, alleging she "show[ed] favor and affection to Greg McMichael during the investigation." Johnson "fail[ed] to treat Ahmaud Arbery and his family fairly and with dignity," it continues, when she recommended the case be taken over by Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George E. Barnhill, neglecting to disclose that she "had previously sought the assistance of DA Barnhill on the case." It also says she obstructed police "by directing that Travis McMichael should not be placed under arrest."

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The story is that the government is actually seeking to hold Johnson accountable for her alleged misbehavior, an exceedingly rare turning of the tables. "Prosecutors are so rarely indicted for job-related misconduct that this is like asking what happens if you toss a pack of Mentos into a black hole," says Clark Neily, senior vice president for legal studies at the Cato Institute.

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Police Shot a Man Driving Away, Can't Keep Their Stories Straight, Get Qualified Immunity Anyway
 

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Analyzing the case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit found that the officers violated Underwood's Fourth Amendment rights. "While Underwood was not obeying orders to stop and was evading talking to the police, Underwood was not driving aggressively or in a threatening way," wrote Circuit Judge Charles R. Wilson. "The car was still eight feet away, [Partridge] did not warn Underwood that he would use deadly force, and there was no critical need to prevent a known dangerous person from escaping and harming others."

The most important bit: "We conclude that under the totality of the circumstances a reasonable jury could find that the Officers' use of deadly force was unreasonable and therefore unconstitutional."

But Underwood won't get that chance. It's not because he doesn't have a plausible case; the court acknowledges the reverse. Rather, he will not have the right to ask a jury of his peers to consider it because neither the 11th Circuit nor the Supreme Court has litigated a case with almost identical facts.

"The Officers are entitled to qualified immunity because Underwood has not demonstrated that his rights were clearly established," wrote Wilson. "As an initial matter, Underwood does not point to a factually similar case, nor does he contend that a broader principle applies here. And probably for good reason, as this case is not directly analogous to other binding qualified immunity cases involving vehicles and the use of deadly force."

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And once again "no one violated constitutional rights in quite that way before" is a good enough answer.

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SCOTUS asked to consider federal impunity in Byrd v Lamb

And the orchestrated chorus of amici has started to assemble.
 

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Because nothing came of the charges, Kevin sought accountability in the only legal forum available to him—a federal district court. He initially succeeded, because the district court held that even qualified immunity—an obstacle that already makes it extremely difficult for victims of constitutional abuse to seek accountability—does not protect an officer who commits such a clear constitutional violation. But when Lamb appealed to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, his victory turned into a defeat because, according to that court, federal officers are entitled to absolute (not qualified) immunity, meaning they cannot be sued at all simply by virtue of being employed by the federal government. This holding prompted one of the judges sitting on the panel to lament that in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi federal officers now operate in a “Constitution-free zone.”

“Had Agent Lamb worked for a state or local government, a case against him would have proceeded to trial,” said Patrick Jaicomo, a nutjob for the Institute for Justice, which represents Kevin in his appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. “But because he happens to be a federal cop, he gets away Scot free.

“That’s not only wrong, it is also inconsistent with our history,” added IJ Nutjob Anya Bidwell, co-counsel in the case. “Remember that the Constitution first and foremost limited the power of the federal government and only applied to the states after the Civil War.”

On August 6, Kevin and the Institute for Justice filed a petition for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the Justices to take on the case and reverse the 5th Circuit’s decision.

They are now joined by a diverse group of highly respected law professors and public policy organizations that filed briefs in support of the Court taking up Kevin’s case. These include briefs by:

  • Professor Peter Schuck, the Simeon E. Baldwin Professor of Law Emeritus at Yale University. An academic legend in the field of constitutional accountability, Prof. Schuck wrote a treatise—Suing Government: Citizen Remedies for Official Wrongs (1983)—which became the foundational text on the subject and inspired many great legal minds to get involved in the field. In his brief, Professor Schuck argues that the 5th Circuit’s decision denying Kevin his day in court “departs radically from this Court’s established framework for evaluating damages claims against federal officials for constitutional torts, creating a split among the circuits.” Supreme Court review, therefore, is not only warranted but badly needed.
  • Professor Seth Stoughton, a former police officer who, among other appointments, teaches at the University of South Carolina School of Law. Professor Stoughton is a well-respected authority on the use of force issues that plague our nation today. According to his brief, the 5th Circuit is home to one of the largest federal law enforcement forces in the country. There are more than 18,000 federal law enforcement officers in Texas alone, with the 5th Circuit overall hosting more than 20,500 federal police. This means that if the 5th Circuit’s decision is allowed to stand, a constitutional remedy will “effectively be abolished exactly where it is most crucial.”
  • The ACLU, Cato Institute, DKT Liberty Project, Goldwater Institute, Law Enforcement Action Partnership and New Civil Liberties Alliance filed a cross-philosophical brief arguing that the nation needs a reevaluation of the excessive force jurisprudence and also needs to get back to the original principles of this country’s founding, specifically the ideal that where there is a right, there must be a remedy. The 5th Circuit’s decision cannot be allowed to stand lest this foundational principle be denied to those who most need it.

“We are grateful for the support of esteemed Professors Schuck and Stoughton, and of the amazing cross-philosophical group of amici,” said Scott Bullock, IJ president and general nutjob.

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