Police Qualified Immunity

Pertinacious Tom

Super Anarchist
60,977
1,628
Punta Gorda FL
Prison Guard Who Hid While Inmate Raped a Nurse Cannot Be Sued, Federal Court Rules
 

A federal court has ruled that a prison guard who flouted protocol and unshackled an inmate, who then terrorized a local hospital, cannot be sued in connection with the incident.

Writing for a unanimous three-judge panel, Judge Frank H. Easterbrook of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit Court ruled that while the officer, Shawn Loomis, is a "feckless coward," current case law has not "clearly established that permitting a prisoner to escape violates the Constitution." Loomis is thus protected by qualified immunity, a legal doctrine which effectively holds that public servants can only face civil suits if the conduct in question has explicitly been ruled unconstitutional in an earlier case.

On May 8, 2017, Tywon Salters, an inmate at the Kane County Jail, drank hydrogen peroxide and ate a jail-issued sandal in an apparent suicide attempt. He was then transferred to the Delnor Community Hospital and put under Loomis's supervision. Loomis unshackled Salters on multiple occasions, leaving him unsupervised and allowing him to walk around the hospital without restriction. On May 13, during one such instance, Loomis removed Salters's restraints for at least 30 minutes; the inmate then stole Loomis's handgun, which was not holstered. Loomis failed to subdue Salters, and did not alert hospital security personnel of the situation. Instead, Loomis ran and hid in a closet.

...
Cops do some things in the course of their work that would be crimes if they were not doing their job. Some protection while doing their job is reasonable.

But that should apply while doing their job. Loomis clearly was not doing his job.

I searched the forum for relevant discussion prior to starting this thread.

QualifiedImmunity.jpg


Milliken was quoting something I posted, Regatta Dog was posting an excerpt from an article.

Since this is clearly not a topic of much interest, let me just add something that is interesting: dogballs.

 

Fat Point Jack

Super Anarchist
2,147
265
Would the "Qualified Immunity" apply to the husband and wife that in their "civilian" life supplied the bullets to the Fat Point librarian shooter?

 

Pertinacious Tom

Super Anarchist
60,977
1,628
Punta Gorda FL
Would the "Qualified Immunity" apply to the husband and wife that in their "civilian" life supplied the bullets to the Fat Point librarian shooter?
I don't know.

We have "a legal doctrine which effectively holds that public servants can only face civil suits if the conduct in question has explicitly been ruled unconstitutional in an earlier case."

I don't think supplying bullets has been ruled unconstitutional.

 

Pertinacious Tom

Super Anarchist
60,977
1,628
Punta Gorda FL
Does Letting Police Enter Your House Give Them Permission To Wreck It?
 

When Shaniz West agreed to let police enter her house so they could arrest her former boyfriend, she had no idea she was consenting to a barrage of tear gas grenades that would smash her windows, tear holes in her walls and ceiling, and leave a sticky, noxious residue on her food, furniture, electronics, and clothing. But after she sued for damages, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit said the officers responsible for making her home uninhabitable were shielded from liability because it was not "clearly established" at the time that such a wanton destruction of property violated the Fourth Amendment.

In a petition filed today, the Institute for Justice urges the U.S. Supreme Court to review that decision and in the process clarify the doctrine of "qualified immunity," which in many cases lets police off the hook for outrageous conduct when their victims are unable to identify prior rulings involving similar facts. That understanding of the doctrine effectively immunizes officers who find novel ways to violate people's constitutional rights.

...
The issue in Shaniz West's case is similar to the one in Lech v Greenwood.

 

Pertinacious Tom

Super Anarchist
60,977
1,628
Punta Gorda FL
The Shaniz West case is part of a larger Project On Immunity And Accountability undertaken by the nutjobs at IJ.
 

...Qualified immunity was originally pitched as a way to make sure government officials received fair warning of what they were not allowed to do. The notion of “clearly established” law has now turned into a kind of perverse game: Unless a plaintiff can point to a court decision saying that doing a specific thing in a specific way violates the law, courts generally apply qualified immunity and the official is immune from accountability. Even if every reasonable person would agree that what the official did was illegal, the official’s victims find themselves out of luck.

...

The upshot of all this is a rule that says government officials can violate your rights with impunity—so long as they do so in a way no one has ever done before. And, perversely, that means that the most outrageous rights violations are the ones that are least likely to be punished: One court, for example, held that officers accused of stealing over $225,000 were entitled to “qualified immunity” and couldn’t be sued. According to the court, “there was no clearly established law holding that officers violate the Fourth or Fourteenth Amendment when they steal property seized pursuant to a warrant.” Therefore, immunity applies, because even though, as the court conceded, “virtually every human society teaches that theft generally is morally wrong,” it was not “obvious” the officers were in the wrong legally.

In another court, a panel of judges ruled that police officers who sicced a dog on a suspect who was sitting down with his hands up were entitled to qualified immunity because—while an earlier case had held that officers were not allowed to sic a dog on someone lying down—no case had ever discussed whether they could do so to a suspect who was sitting down with his hands up.

...

 

Pertinacious Tom

Super Anarchist
60,977
1,628
Punta Gorda FL
Prosecutor Qualified Immunity?
 

Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro issued fake subpoenas to pressure victims and witnesses to testify. Now facing a lawsuit, the Louisiana prosecutor is arguing that the practice falls under the umbrella of absolute immunity—the doctrine that says prosecutors cannot face civil action for carrying out their official duties.

The good news is that there's a strong chance the courts won't buy it.

The Lens uncovered Cannizzaro's tactic in April 2017. He would send people notifications telling them to appear in court or face fines or jail time. The documents were neither authorized by a judge nor issued by a county clerk, the proper channels for subpoenas. Cannizzaro's office was producing them itself. Worse yet: Even though the subpoenas were unlawful, he really did jail people who didn't obey them.

In October 2017, the American Civil Liberties Union sued Cannizzaro and some of his staffers on behalf of the people who received the subpoenas.

...
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.

 

Mark K

Super Anarchist
47,621
1,855
Live and learn.

  Letting someone in to forcibly remove someone carries the risk of extensive damage. As much as I disapprove of modern force protection doctrine dominating the training of officers today it's problematic to demand such tasks be carried out without any collateral damage...and that any and all collateral damage is always the fault of the police if it occurs.

  Don't get me wrong here, I sympathize the wrong in this, I comment about the difficulties involved with striking precisely the right note in legal suits designed to address this condition. I merely see it as an attempt to solve the wrong problem perfectly. The symptom, not the disease. 

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Pertinacious Tom

Super Anarchist
60,977
1,628
Punta Gorda FL
Are you talking about this suit?    Where is the ACLU on the plaintiff list?

View attachment 345517
Yes, I am.

Did the Institute for Justice bring the Kelo case? I didn't see their name on the plaintiff list.

Similarly, the document you linked says this:
 

Respectfully submitted this 17th day of October, 2017,

/s/Anna Arceneaux

/s/Katherine Chamblee

-

Ryan

Anna Arceneaux*

Katherine Chamblee

-

Ryan*

*

American Civil Liberties Union Foundation

Alec

Karakatsanis*

201 West Main Street, Suite 402

Civil Rights Corps

Durham, NC 27701

910 17th Street NW

Tel. (919) 682

-

5

6

59

Washington, D.C. 20006

[email protected]
Sorry the formatting is fucked and I don't feel like fixing it, but it sure looks to me like this was respectfully submitted by someone whose email ends in @aclu.org, so I suspect the article is right that the ACLU sued in this case.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Pertinacious Tom

Super Anarchist
60,977
1,628
Punta Gorda FL
Live and learn.

  Letting someone in to forcibly remove someone carries the risk of extensive damage. As much as I disapprove of modern force protection doctrine dominating the training of officers today it's problematic to demand such tasks be carried out without any collateral damage...and that any and all collateral damage is always the fault of the police if it occurs.

  Don't get me wrong here, I sympathize the wrong in this, I comment about the difficulties involved with striking precisely the right note in legal suits designed to address this condition. I merely see it as an attempt to solve the wrong problem perfectly. The symptom, not the disease. 
Seems to me the forcible removal is a public action so the public should be assuming the associated risk, not shunting it off to a private party who happened to be in the way.

 

Mark K

Super Anarchist
47,621
1,855
Seems to me the forcible removal is a public action so the public should be assuming the associated risk, not shunting it off to a private party who happened to be in the way.
They were asked to enter private property by a resident.  

 
Last edited by a moderator:

jocal505

moderate, informed gunowner
14,120
255
Seattle, Wa
Since this is clearly not a topic of much interest, let me just add something that is interesting: dogballs.
(^^^ he hate the dogballs)

The joke is on you pal, cuz you earned the name. You became a nuisance for 23 months...and the rest is dogballs. (With full-on race-baiting, I might add.)

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Pertinacious Tom

Super Anarchist
60,977
1,628
Punta Gorda FL
They were asked to enter private property by a resident.  
Is that your understanding of this?
 

The case began on a Wednesday afternoon in August 2014, when West returned to her home in Caldwell, Idaho, and encountered four local police officers. They were looking for her ex-boyfriend, Fabian Salinas, a gang member wanted for several violent crimes. West said Salinas had been in the house earlier that day, collecting his belongings, and she was not sure whether he was still there. It turned out he wasn't, but the cops did not realize that until after they had wreaked havoc on West's home.

After intimating that West might be arrested for harboring a fugitive, Officer Matthew Richardon asked, "Do we have permission to get inside your house and apprehend him?" West nodded, handed over the key to her front door, and left with a friend who came to pick her up.
Seems to me she did not ask them to enter her property. They threatened her with arrest to gain consent.

If cops threaten you with arrest to gain consent to enter your house, have you asked them to enter?

 

Pertinacious Tom

Super Anarchist
60,977
1,628
Punta Gorda FL
6th Circuit: This Man Can Sue the Cop Who Arrested Him for Defending His Daughter Against a Feral Cat
 

After a neighbor called 911 and falsely reported that Dwain Barton had killed a cat, a local police officer charged through a screen door into Barton's house without a warrant and injuriously manhandled him while arresting him for animal cruelty, a charge that was eventually dismissed. When Barton sued the officer, Dean Vann, for violating his Fourth Amendment rights, a federal judge concluded that Vann was protected by "qualified immunity," which shields police from liability when their actions do not run afoul of "clearly established" law. Last Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit overturned that ruling, concluding that Barton should have an opportunity to prove his claims against Vann.

...

Barton sued Vann under 42 USC 1983, which allows people to recover damages when a government official violates their constitutional rights under color of law. Barton argued that Vann illegally entered his home without a warrant, arrested him without probable cause, and used excessive force during the arrest. Vann claimed he was protected by qualified immunity, and U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh III granted his motion for summary judgment.

Steeh concluded that Vann was justified in entering the home based on "exigent circumstances," since "it was reasonable for Officer Vann to believe that Barton was armed, and that he was willing to use his weapon to harm the officers or others." Steeh also concluded that "Officer Vann had probable cause to believe that Barton had violated a local animal cruelty ordinance" and that "Barton fails to create a genuine issue of material fact on his excessive force claim" because he did not present sufficient evidence that Vann injured him during the arrest.

A unanimous 6th Circuit panel of three judges saw things differently. "Based on the facts alleged and the evidence produced, viewed in the light most favorable to Barton, a reasonable juror could find that Vann violated Barton's Fourth Amendment rights to freedom from warrantless entry into his home, use of excessive force, and arrest without probable cause," Judge Julia Smith Gibbons wrote. "These violations were of clearly established law." The court therefore rejected Vann's claim of qualified immunity.
We'll see what a jury has to say about it.

 

Mark K

Super Anarchist
47,621
1,855
Is that your understanding of this?
 

Seems to me she did not ask them to enter her property. They threatened her with arrest to gain consent.

If cops threaten you with arrest to gain consent to enter your house, have you asked them to enter?
No. I'd tell them that if they arrest me they will have to go get themselves a warrant.  

 
Last edited by a moderator:
Top