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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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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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An Inmate Allegedly 'Leaking Blood All Over' Was Denied Medical Treatment for Hours. The Prison Guard Gets Qualified Immunity
 

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In October 2014, Charles Wade, then an inmate at United States Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, injured his hand and was escorted on a 10-minute walk from the kitchen to a holding cell by Captain Gordon Lewis. Wade says that over the course of that walk, he was "leaking blood all over" and left "a path of blood," but that his requests to go to the infirmary were ignored. He would stay in the holding cell for several hours before receiving any attention from a prison nurse. His injuries eventually worsened: Though he put in a request for help after his hand began to swell, staff did not tend to him until a day later when he flagged an officer and told a nurse his pain was registering as a ten out of ten. He ultimately required hospital treatment outside the prison.

In awarding Lewis qualified immunity, the 11th Circuit made a few distinctions from previous case law. "In [a prior ruling], the plaintiff suffered an injury to his head," wrote Judge Elizabeth L. Branch, "whereas here, Wade suffered an injury to his hand." She also noted that "the quantity of blood is different," because the defendant in a previous case had "blood soaked [on] his clothing [and] pooled on the floor." Also different is the location of the plaintiff: Wade was in a holding cell, sitting three feet from the infirmary, whereas the plaintiff in the preexisting precedent was in a hospital.

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Should justice really turn on whether a judge thinks a hand injury is serious enough, or there's enough blood?

The article goes on to point out that, had a jury been allowed to deliberate on the situation, the prisoner might not have done well. He said he was cutting a can open with a knife. Other inmates said he was in a fight. Without hearing more, who cuts a can open with a knife?

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5 minutes ago, Excoded Tom said:

An Inmate Allegedly 'Leaking Blood All Over' Was Denied Medical Treatment for Hours. The Prison Guard Gets Qualified Immunity
 

Should justice really turn on whether a judge thinks a hand injury is serious enough, or there's enough blood?

The article goes on to point out that, had a jury been allowed to deliberate on the situation, the prisoner might not have done well. He said he was cutting a can open with a knife. Other inmates said he was in a fight. Without hearing more, who cuts a can open with a knife?

reason.com and ij, they have all the good stuff for us. :rolleyes:

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2 minutes ago, jocal505 said:

reason.com and ij, they have all the good stuff for us. :rolleyes:

I'd welcome interest from others, if there were any. But most do like you and ignore or mock this issue, so it continues.

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10 minutes ago, jocal505 said:

what continues (and repeats), dogballs, is a flat learning curve. ;) 

That is the pattern I see with non-readers.

Just in case, here's a source you might actually approve. I mean, if you wanted to read and discuss the thread topic instead of gossiping about me.

  

On 12/27/2020 at 7:33 AM, Excoded Tom said:
On 5/10/2020 at 7:20 AM, Polytelum Tom said:

That was part 1 of a four part (so far) series by reuters.

Part 2: Wrong place, wrong time

Part 3: Dueling Rights

Part 4: Color of suspicion

 

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51 minutes ago, Excoded Tom said:

instead of gossiping about me.

Hold the phone, Victimboi. If you can read, then go study the six aspects which increase suicide in Japan. It's very interesting, actually--it would expand your world, if you would ever get your head out of your jaded Libertarian's sources...via reading objective info.

 

Gossip? You wish. You come here, you do what you do, and you leave a certain trail. This is your purpose, here, to leave that trail, eh? And I have observed your trail, and I have made comments about the trail. You present some shabby shit, full of dark money and gunz, while exploiting the racial divide. Sorry, but I find that your input is fundamentally lacking in the humane basics.

You need to defend the trail now, sonny boy...but your once-fine mind is quite locked into reason.com and the IJ, and CATO. Their trajectory is predictable, and their info selective. Dogballs.

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On 8/7/2021 at 5:35 PM, Ishmael said:
On 8/7/2021 at 5:29 PM, 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.

I keep pondering something: why are so damn many people so in sync with the stupid?

TO PROTECT AND SERVE. Hmmm. I am VERY appalled by this union.

 

Yeah, speaking for myself, I find myself wishing ill health upon these hardheads, just because. Then I expect better of myself.

I'll go with "may the fucking light clue descend upon them, and soon."

 

 

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We all know that I EAT ASS bumper stickers are protected by the first amendment.

But that's not all there is to the issue.

Cops Get Qualified Immunity After Jailing Florida Man for 'I Eat Ass' Bumper Sticker
 

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New life was injected into a free speech legal saga over an "I Eat Ass" bumper sticker yesterday when a federal judge ruled that the expression might violate Florida's obscenity law and would thus be unprotected by the First Amendment.

At the center of the odyssey is Florida man Dillon Shane Webb, who was pulled over in May of 2019 after Columbia County Sheriff's Deputy Travis English took exception to the sticker. Webb declined to censor it on the spot, his vehicle was searched, and he was subsequently arrested and booked in jail for "obscene writing on vehicles" and "resisting an officer without violence." (The "resisting" in question refers to his refusal to alter the sticker's appearance at the officer's demand.)

Those charges were dropped shortly thereafter, with the State Attorney's Office citing the First Amendment.

But the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida ruled yesterday that the case is not so cut and dry, awarding qualified immunity to English and thus dooming the suit Webb brought against him for allegedly violating his free speech rights and for falsely arresting him.

...

Yet the law in question—Fla. Stat. § 847.011(2), which prohibits "any sticker, decal, emblem or other device attached to a motor vehicle containing obscene descriptions, photographs, or depictions"—is unconstitutional on its face, according to Eugene Volokh, a professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley. "This entire provision is therefore unconstitutionally overbroad and thus invalid on its face, and thus can't be applied even to possession of obscenity in public," Volokh argued in May 2019.

...

Ironically, there was a ruling that may have helped Webb. Nieves v. Bartlett, a 2019 Supreme Court decision, holds that officers may be held liable if they "have probable cause to make arrests, but typically exercise their discretion not to do so." One would assume that applies here, where the officer surely should have exercised his discretion not to make an arrest over a bumper sticker.

Yet in an apt demonstration of how lopsided qualified immunity doctrine is, Judge Howard noted that the Supreme Court handed that particular decision down three weeks after Webb's arrest. "As such," she wrote, "as of the date of Webb's arrest, the right to be free from a retaliatory arrest that was otherwise supported by probable cause was not clearly established."

 

Uh huh. Because prior to the court ruling, no one could possibly figure out that a retaliatory arrest for protected expression just might be wrong.

 

 

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Wise Latina on Qualified Immunity
 

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...

In the Court's orders released Monday, Sotomayor objected to her colleagues' refusal to hear a plea brought by the family of a man killed by a police officer. The man "never threatened the officer," Sotomayor notes, and in that moment arguably presented a danger only to himself. The cop got qualified immunity anyway.

"I add only that qualified immunity properly shields police officers from liability when they act reasonably to protect themselves and the public," she wrote. "It does not protect an officer who inflicts deadly force on a person who is only a threat to himself."

Though the stereotype is that such decisions are decided along ideological lines, Sotomayor was alone today. She is not alone, however, in her disdain for qualified immunity. Justice Clarence Thomas is the most reliably outspoken detractor.

...

 

Sotomayor and Thomas make a cute couple.

 

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More prosecutorial absolute immunity
 

Quote

 

...

Lefebure found herself in the home of her cousin's husband, Barrett Boeker—then the assistant warden at Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as Angola—during flooding in Baton Rouge. Lefebure "alleges that Boeker raped and sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions there. First, he raped her in front of a mirror, where he made her watch, while telling her that no one would hear her scream," according to the 5th Circuit's rendering. "Later, he sexually assaulted her with a foreign object, after picking the lock of the room where she was attempting to hide. Afterward, she tried to lock the door again, but he again proceeded to pick the lock and blocked her escape."

A medical exam found bruises, redness, and irritation present on her arms, legs, and cervix, leading to Boeker's eventual arrest for second degree rape.

Yet he was mysteriously never indicted.

Following the arrest, Lefebure claims that District Attorney D'Aquilla "refused to collect and examine the rape kit," "made handwritten notes on the police report highlighting only purported discrepancies in Lefebure's account of the events and presented that report to the grand jury," "declined to meet or speak with her about the alleged assaults before the grand jury proceeding," and "failed to call various witnesses who could have corroborated her version of the events."

...

 

But that's OK.
 

Quote

 

...

Judge Ho—the same judge who said that police officers need to retain qualified immunity "to stop mass shootings"—struck down that idea, instead insisting that D'Aquilla be immune for his investigatory negligence just as he is immune for his prosecutorial negligence. "Lefebure's story is particularly appalling because her alleged perpetrator holds a position of significance in our criminal justice system as an assistant prison warden. We expect law enforcement officials to uphold the law, not to violate it—to protect the innocent, not to victimize them," wrote Ho. "But none of this changes the fact that our court has no jurisdiction to reach her claims against the district attorney, who for whatever reason declined to help her." In a rare move, that elicited a rebuke from three retired federal judges, who asked to file a brief in support of Lefebure. Last week, Ho said they could proceed, although he contends that her suit is doomed.

As for Boeker, he lost his job in May of last year after he was arrested on felony charges—not for the alleged rape, but for assaulting an inmate with a fire extinguisher.

 

Uh huh. Whatever reason. And that's all the reason that is needed if you have absolute immunity in your discretion about whether to do your job.

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48 minutes ago, Mark K said:

Ask Soto Meyer and Thomas if they expect a cop with no limited immunity from personal lawsuits to arrest a guy like Don Trump. For anything. 

Why? No one is proposing no immunity. Just no immunity if you break the law or violate constitutional rights. I'd think cops could manage to do their jobs without breaking the law or violating constitutional rights, but I guess this is a problem for some.

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22 hours ago, Excoded Tom said:

Why? No one is proposing no immunity. Just no immunity if you break the law or violate constitutional rights. I'd think cops could manage to do their jobs without breaking the law or violating constitutional rights, but I guess this is a problem for some.

Because guys like Trump can put a legal team with a couple million to spend on suing you with a bunch of BS and you don't have the funds to defend. 

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On 10/16/2021 at 3:55 PM, Mark K said:

Because guys like Trump can put a legal team with a couple million to spend on suing you with a bunch of BS and you don't have the funds to defend. 

That kind of argument only works on the uninformed.

Without qualified immunity, wouldn’t many government workers be financially ruined by court decisions against them?

Quote

No. Nearly all judgments and settlements against government workers are paid by government employers or their insurers. In fact, academic research has found that when qualified immunity has been overcome, “individual officers contributed to settlements in just 0.41% of these cases, and paid approximately 0.02% of the total awards to plaintiffs.” There is no reason to believe that ending qualified immunity would cause a shift in those numbers.

Oh no! They almost never contribute almost nothing! We'll run out of cops, just like we had no cops before SCOTUS invented qualified impunity in the 80's.

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9 hours ago, Excoded Tom said:

That kind of argument only works on the uninformed.

Without qualified immunity, wouldn’t many government workers be financially ruined by court decisions against them?

Oh no! They almost never contribute almost nothing! We'll run out of cops, just like we had no cops before SCOTUS invented qualified impunity in the 80's.

RIF. It's the defense against a Trump legal team they can't afford and will be highly incentivized to not risk. Furthermore you are dragging examples from the world as it is, in which they have limited immunity. You want to end that, remember?? 

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14 hours ago, Mark K said:

RIF. It's the defense against a Trump legal team they can't afford and will be highly incentivized to not risk. Furthermore you are dragging examples from the world as it is, in which they have limited immunity. You want to end that, remember?? 

When I RIF, it seemed like you said,

On 10/16/2021 at 3:55 PM, Mark K said:

suing you with a bunch of BS and you don't have the funds to defend. 

I pointed out that it's not the individuals who pay, it's the employers.

Furthermore, settlement discussion is completely unrelated to QI because there's never a settlement if there's QI because there's QI. Kinda how that works.

In any case, the Supreme Court has acted and now officers can kneel on unresisting suspects' backs and cause injury without fear. I don't think that has ever caused any problems. At least, nothing similar enough has happened, it seems.
 

Quote

 

The Supreme Court on Monday issued two opinions awarding qualified immunity to police officers accused of brutality, overturning lower court decisions that came to the opposite conclusion. The Court has thus prohibited the alleged victims from seeking accountability in civil court.

...

In the first case, Officer Daniel Rivas-Villegas responded to a 911 call from a 12-year-old, who was afraid that Ramon Cortesluna, her mother's ex-boyfriend, would hurt her and her family. When Rivas-Villegas apprehended Cortesluna on the ground, he allegedly injured him by digging his knee into his back for eight seconds. According to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, it was already clearly established law that an officer violates the Fourth Amendment when he acts in such a way with "suspects who were lying face-down on the ground and were not resisting either physically or verbally, on whose back the defendant officer leaned with a knee, causing allegedly significant injury."

The Supreme Court disagreed, writing that there was no preexisting court precedent quite similar enough to exactly what happened between Rivas-Villegas and Cortesluna such that the officer would have been on notice that his conduct was unconstitutional.

...

 

Maybe if he kneeled on him long enough to kill him we could find a similar precedent?

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The Supreme Court Deals a Harsh, Unanimous Blow to Police Reform

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...

On Monday, though, the court dashed any hopes that it would seriously reconsider the doctrine. Rivas-Villegas and Tahlequah are blunt decisions filled with harsh language toward the lower courts for daring to deny qualified immunity. In both cases, the lower courts cited precedents with roughly similar facts in which they found a violation of a “clearly established” right. Yet SCOTUS retorted that they had defined these rights “at too high a level of generality.” It insisted that these precedents were “materially distinguishable” on the basis of minor differences in fact patterns. For example, in Tahlequah, the officers walked at a normal pace toward the victim; in a past case, the officers sprinted toward him. In Rivas-Villegas, the officer merely placed his knee on the victim; in a past case, the officer “dug his knee into” him. These distinctions, the court concluded, are enough to merit qualified immunity.

The court’s hair-splitting exercise illustrates what one judge called an “Escherian Stairwell.” No two cases are exactly alike; there is always a way to distinguish precedents. If a court wants to grant qualified immunity, it can almost always find some way to differentiate a previous case from the one before it. In Monday’s decisions, SCOTUS sent a message that it will flyspeck lower court decisions granting qualified immunity, scolding them for ruling against cops in all but the most egregious cases. Rivas-Villegas and Tahlequah tell judges that they are on much firmer ground when they shield police from civil suits. The rulings incentivize decisions in favor of the police, even in cases with brutal facts. And so, by extension, they normalize reckless and violent behavior by law enforcement officers, who can remain confident that SCOTUS won’t force them to answer for their misconduct.

...

 

and

Supreme Court just doubled down on flawed qualified immunity rule

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...

The Supreme Court has explained that factually similar cases are necessary to put an officer on notice that what he did was wrong. In the court’s own words, factually similar cases are necessary to “clearly establish” the law because "it is sometimes difficult for an officer to determine how the relevant legal doctrine ... will apply to the factual situation the officer confronts."

But are officers actually educated about the facts and holdings of these cases? The answer is an unequivocal no.

I examined hundreds of use-of-force policies, trainings and other educational materials received by California law enforcement officers. I found officers are educated about watershed decisions like Graham but are not regularly or reliably educated about court decisions interpreting those watershed decisions – the very types of decisions that are necessary to clearly establish the law for qualified immunity purposes. 

...

If we end qualified immunity, officers will still not violate the Constitution if they act reasonably because courts will continue to assess whether an officer's decision to use force was reasonable under the framework supplied by Graham – which requires that courts consider the totality of the circumstances not “with the 20/20 vision of hindsight” but with the recognition that “police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments – in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving – about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation.” 

But if we keep qualified immunity, the definition of “clearly established law” should be changed to reflect how officers are actually educated about the scope of their authority.

If the goal of qualified immunity is to give officers fair notice, and they are on notice of watershed decisions like Graham – but not educated about the facts and holdings of court decisions applying Graham – then "clearly established law" should be defined much more generally.  

 

Funny how a Slate legal analyst and a UCLA law prof sound a bit like Koch-$pon$ored propagandists, isn't it?

 

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