Liability

Judge Allows Jury to Hear Civil Case over Botched Tenn. Raid

Sheriff's Department burned down a mobile home

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The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office's lost its bid for immunity against being sued for burning down a mobile home during a botched standoff two years ago.

U.S. District Judge J. Ronnie Greer, instead of writing off the blaze as the result of a good-faith mistake, has decided that a jury should decide whether police resorted to heavy-handed tactics when tossing inside a dozen teargas grenades for a fugitive who might not have been there.

"The Court cannot conclude that the officers are entitled to qualified immunity regarding the force used and the destruction of the plaintiffs' home," Greer wrote in an opinion filed in Greeneville, Tenn. "The reasonableness of their actions quite candidly must be decided by a jury based on the current state of this record."

(Hat tip to Sloopyinca)