Qualified Immunity

Cops Who Allegedly Assaulted and Arrested a Man for Standing Outside His Own House Are Protected by Qualified Immunity

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision is "a precedent-setting error of exceptional public importance," writes dissenting judge.


Two police officers who allegedly assaulted a man outside of his own house and arrested him on bogus charges after failing to identify themselves as law enforcement are protected by qualified immunity and cannot be sued, a federal court confirmed Monday.

Shase Howse, the appellant, alleges that on July 28, 2016, a group of men pulled up to his home in an unmarked vehicle without uniforms on and asked him if he lived at the residence. After Howse answered in the affirmative, Officer Brian Middaugh of the Cleveland Police Department (CPD) pressed Howse on if he was sure he lived there. "Yes, what the fuck?" Howse allegedly responded, still unaware Middaugh was a cop. Middaugh, commenting on Howse's bad attitude, then exited the unmarked vehicle and approached him on the porch, asking him once again if he lived there. Howse said he did.

Following that exchange, Howse alleges that Middaugh commanded him to put his hands behind his back because he was going to jail. Howse did not oblige, telling Middaugh that he lived at the residence and that he'd done nothing wrong. Middaugh then threw him to the ground, and with the help of CPD Officer Thomas Hodous, handcuffed him while Howse resisted. It was after he was tackled that Howse realized the men were police officers.

As he lay on the porch, Howse's mother, who heard the noise from inside, exited the residence, where she says she saw one man straddling her son while another punched his head with a closed fist, causing Howse's head to hit the porch. She, too, did not initially realize they were officers.

Howse was eventually jailed for several days before posting bond, and charged with two counts of assault and one count of obstructing official business. The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office eventually dismissed those charges.

Howse then brought three claims against Middaugh and Hodous: one for excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment, another for malicious prosecution in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and the last for assault and battery in violation of Ohio law. He also brought one claim against the City of Cleveland, arguing that the municipality shares liability for the officers' constitutional violations. He first filed his suit the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio at Cleveland, where a panel granted the officers qualified immunity and dismissed the case against the city. Howse then appealed.

In rejecting Howse's suit, Circuit Judge Amul Thapar of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals illustrated what makes qualified immunity so confounding: public officials can violate your civil rights without consequence if those rights have not been "clearly established" by existing case law.

"'Clearly established' means that the law is so clear at the time of the incident that every reasonable officer would understand the unlawfulness of his conduct," Thapar writes in his majority opinion. "To avoid 'paralysis by analysis,' qualified immunity protects all but plainly incompetent officers or those who knowingly violate the law."

Reasonable officers should know basic right from wrong, Thapar implies, yet according to qualified immunity, they also need the judiciary to spell out those fundamentals with myopic detail.

What's more, the doctrine has indeed been used to protect "plainly incompetent officers" and "those who knowingly violate the law." Consider the two cops in Fresno, California, who allegedly stole $225,000 while executing a search warrant. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that "the City Officers ought to have recognized that the alleged theft was morally wrong," but that they "did not have clear notice that it violated the Fourth Amendment." Both officers were granted qualified immunity.

Then there was the sheriff's deputy in Coffee County, Georgia, who shot a 10-year-old boy while aiming at the family's non-threatening dog while in pursuit of a suspect who had no connection to the little boy or his dog. Because there was no case law saying that shooting someone while aiming at something else infringes on someone's rights, the deputy received qualified immunity. Or the police officer in Los Angeles who shot a 15-year-old boy one morning because he saw the boy's friend holding a plastic airsoft gun replica. In that case, there was no legal precedent that said accidentally shooting a bystander infringes on the bystander's rights, though the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit acknowledged that "a rational finder of fact" would conclude that the officer's conduct "shocked the conscience and was unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment." The officer got qualified immunity anyway.

But Thapar's decision is in a league of its own, says Clark Neily, vice president for criminal justice at the Cato Institute. "It requires a certain amount of effort to write an exceptionally bad qualified immunity opinion, but this is, by any standard, an exceptionally bad one," Neily says. "Simply refusing to interact with police, and even being rude to them, does not provide probable cause for them to make an arrest, which is really what this case boils down to."

Thapar disagrees. "Howse argues that the officers violated his clearly established right to be free from 'unreasonable government intrusions,'" he writes, calling that basic constitutional standard "much too vague." The officers needed to be specifically told by the courts that assaulting someone who disobeys an order and using "additional force" when that person resists arrest violates the Fourth Amendment.

The primary problem with that framing, Neily notes, is that it assumes Howse should have been arrested in the first place. Yet when determining whether to grant qualified immunity, the courts are legally required to accept the plaintiff's version of events. After all, the decision to withhold qualified immunity only gives someone the right to sue a public official.

For their part, the officers allege Howse was "lingering suspiciously" (in front of his own house) and that the area is "known for violence, drugs, and gang activity." They admit that Howse confirmed he lived at the home, but their doubts about his honesty led them to "investigate more," culminating in the violent confrontation. In his decision, Thapar pays lip service to Howse's account but proceeds to rule under the assumption that his arrest was warranted.

It's for that reason the Sixth Circuit erred in denying the petition for a rehearing en banc, said Circuit Judge Julia Smith Gibbons in a dissent published Monday. "In qualified immunity cases, we have long held that a plaintiff's right must be defined with careful attention to the 'specific factual circumstances' of the case," she writes. "And yet, in framing Shase Howse's right in this case, the panel fails to account for his suspected criminality (none), location (home), or conduct (truthfully answering questions)."

Gibbons also takes issue with the majority's dismissal of the malicious prosecution claim—a decision she calls "a precedent-setting error of exceptional public importance." Thapar asserts that, in resisting arrest "by stiffening up his body and screaming at the top of his lungs," Howse provides probable cause for the charge of obstructing official business. "And because there was probable cause for that charge," Thapar writes, "Howse cannot move forward with any of his malicious-prosecution claims," notwithstanding the fact that Howse's original crime was sitting outside of his own house.

On the assault and battery claim, the officers invoked "an Ohio statutory provision which provides a general grant of immunity to government employees." Thapar, a former federal prosecutor, granted that as well.

The Sixth Circuit's dismissal joins a mounting pile of decisions that protect public officials at the expense of the very people they've sworn to serve. But qualified immunity has come under new scrutiny amid protests surrounding George Floyd, the unarmed black man killed by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Rep. Justin Amash (L–Mich.) recently introduced a bill to kill the doctrine.

"We have an astonishing double standard in this country where members of law enforcement hold we the citizens to a very high standard of accountability," says Neily. "It is not a defense that you didn't know that your conduct was illegal. But when the shoe is on the other foot, and the question is what standard of accountability members of law enforcement should be held to, they insist that it be so low that it is practically zero."

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117 responses to “Cops Who Allegedly Assaulted and Arrested a Man for Standing Outside His Own House Are Protected by Qualified Immunity

  1. The laws are very fucking clear. The judges are just making this shit up.

    Copsuckers the lot.

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    2. How, precisely, is Qualified Immunity in any way compatible with the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment?

      QI grants privileges to a small class of citizen (roughly 0.3% of the US population), thereby creating a VERY large (99.7% of the population) less privileged class of citizen.

      US courts are a creation of the Constitution, they are not above it. The judicial branch is equal to the legislative, yet by creating this doctrine they have elevated themselves above the other two branches. How is it that a court can rule itself above the very laws that grant them power, that do not include the authority to create new powers other than those specified by that law?!?

      1. They can because we let them.

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        2. We don’t let them. The crooked judges and Politicians let them. The average citizens are just treated as serfs/slaves to the government. No matter if you are black,white or yellow. My apologies to all the Purple people and any colors in between. For leaving you out.

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  2. Trump likes Qualified Immunity, so if you don’t like it you’ve got TDS.

    1. Citation? Or is this like yesterday when you claimed Trump was against all police reforms?

      1. You think the guy who accuses elderly men of being antifa super soldiers wants to get rid of qualified immunity?

      2. I can’t cite what I hear on the radio.

      3. He uses “law and order” in his tweets several times a week, and constantly praises cops. It doesn’t take a genius to infer that he will oppose whatever the cops oppose.

        1. I linked to his statement on pursuing executive actions for police reform yesterday dummy. Or did you forget?

          And even this, this trump vs QI jist shows your idiocy. And glad DoL waded on to show his.

          QI is a judicial construct, not executive. Trump cant actually end it. Only the USSC can. The legislative through legal reforms have a higher chance, but mostly it is a judicial action that is required.

          But keep blaming Trump for a multi decade judicial creation like the dummies you are.

          1. “I linked to his statement on pursuing executive actions for police reform yesterday dummy. Or did you forget?”

            I didn’t see it. I don’t hang out here all day. Post it again and I’ll read it.

            1. I also ignore links as a general rule. Most people post bs.

        2. In other words, you made it all up.

          “It doesn’t take a genius …”

          It certainly didn’t in this case.

        3. Wait but Rush and the right tell me police and LE are liberals

      4. “White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the president had not reviewed legislation put forward by Democrats but drew the line at provisions that would end qualified immunity, which protects police officers from civil lawsuits. McEnany said it was a ‘nonstarter’ because it could result in ‘police pulling back.'”

        1. And yesterday he said he would work with Scitt on his legislation while working whatever reforms he could at the executive level.

          1. McEnany on Monday told reporters that the immunity proposal was a “non-starter” but said Trump had not yet reviewed the Democrats’ legislation.

          2. Woops. Jesse, it’s ok to criticize Trump sometimes. He’s not going to fuck you either way.

          3. Look, you retarded fucking lying piece of shit, the first goddamn sentence of your cite says Kayleigh McEnany said that Trump said that, not that Trump said it so fuck off with your goddamn trolling. You know what else McEnany said? “McEnany on Monday told reporters that the immunity proposal was a “non-starter” but said Trump had not yet reviewed the Democrats’ legislation.” Right in the same fucking cite you’ve got that you claim proves that Trump is not opposed to QI. Jesus Christ, you’re pathetic, you should go kill yourself you retarded asshole motherfucking troll.

            1. Jerryskids,

              First, you have anger management problems. Get counseling.

              Second, Kayleight McEnany is the President’s spokesperson. She gets paid to speak for Trump. That is what Trump hired her to do. If she says he opposes X, that is the best evidence he opposes X unless he or she comes out and retracts that statement. Trump supporting “police reforms” and Trump opposing the ending of QI are consistent. Trump could have in mind other reforms (such as more training or something) that don’t include ending QI. The fact that his spokesman specifically said he does not support ending QI means reasonable people have to take it as a given that he does not support ending QI.

              Third, are you Jesse’s second account? If so, Jesse, you got pwned twice by De Opporessor. Ouch.

            2. OK, you are claiming that Trump’s spokeswoman wasn’t accurately describing Trump’s views when she called it a “nonstarter”. (People can make mistakes, after all.) Did Kayleigh retract or correct this incorrect statement?

      5. No cite from me either, but it was reported that he said he would veto any bill which eliminated QI.

        1. He cant eliminate QI as it is a judicial construct. But I would love the quote.

          1. He can’t, but legislation can.

          2. You know what a veto is. Trump opposes ending QI. As someone above said, it’s okay to admit your hero is wrong about something. It is part of growing up.

    2. i am a big fan of elininating qualified immunity and don’t care much for trump…but not a TDS sufferer. simply think he is a vascillator and a panderer. as it turns out he is just as happy to brandish a bible as any of the posers who try that ploy. and as always at least he isn’t hillary

      1. You left out stupid motherfucker. That’s what this election is, a choice between two stupid motherfuckers.

        Come to think of it, the last one was too.

  3. Two police officers who allegedly assaulted a man outside of his own house and arrested him on bogus charges after failing to identify themselves as law enforcement are protected by qualified immunity and cannot be sued, a federal court confirmed Monday.

    See, this is an example of what I’m talking about. I’m going to assume that this account is 100% accurate. I’m not sure if qualified immunity is the primary impediment. I don’t like the idea that the officers can’t be personally sued. I’m not sure why the victim didn’t sue the city or the department at large– which we know is the way most victims go.

    As much as I would like to see these officers directly punished, I want to know what happened to the officers from a disciplinary standpoint within their department. I’d also wager that the answer to that question is probably ‘not much’ because of the phalanx of union protections the officers get. I also suspect the DA isn’t interested in prosecuting because again, officers are notoriously difficult to prosecute and DAs don’t like to burn their good-will with the department at large.

    I don’t claim to know what the ultimate answer is on qualified immunity, but the more I learn about it, it’s not quite the silver bullet we’re leading ourselves to believe it might be.

    1. I don’t know anyone who says ending QI will fix everything.

      However with all the stories of how it is abused to allow cops get away with behavior that is unquestioningly disgusting, ending it would certainly be a step in the right correct direction.

      *Can’t say “right” direction because the political right wholeheartedly supports it.

      1. *Can’t say “right” direction because the political right wholeheartedly supports it.

        I’m not sure about that. I’d agree that people on the right are more likely to support it, but I know some people on the right who have no love for the cops…

        Either way, qualified immunity is not a blanket protection against wrongdoing, it’s fairly limited in scope and while I don’t want to mischaracterize people’s opinion of it, I’m not sure it would fix much in the realm of accountability, let alone “all of it”.

        I just think it’s more productive to find out why the institutions that oversee the police are unable to make their employees accountable for their actions. I think the union representation (and the legal binding to recognize that union and its processes) have a much bigger role to play.

        1. He isn’t right about it since the Republicans are working on a reform bill as we speak. I even linked him that fact yesterday but he decided to keep pushing the narrative today.


          At this point sarcasmoc and his many socks are utterly dishonest or ignorant.

          1. Um, no. I’m working with the current information. When that information changes, what I’m saying will change with it.

            Does it hurt to reach that hard?

            1. I literally linked this to you’re comment yesterday dummy. You continued with your comment today given the current information you were given yesterday.

              This isnt a reach. Either you’re dishonest or ignorant. You can plead the latter if you want. But I linked this to your comment yesterday.

              1. I literally didn’t see it so I literally didn’t read it. If you insist on calling me names like a child then this conversation is over. Fuck off.

                1. Lol

          2. “At this point sarcasmoc and his many socks are utterly dishonest or ignorant.”

            Speaking of utter and complete dishonesty, here’s JesseSPAZ!
            And he NEVER takes back his lies!!!

            Readers, beware! Do not be deceived by JesseAZ! JesseAZ does NOT believe that LIES are bad in ANY way! Only ACTIONS matter, ethically or morally! See https://reason.com/2020/01/01/trumps-inartful-dodges/#comment-8068480
            “Words are words dumbfuck. Actions are where morals and ethics lie.”, says JesseAZ. When confronted with offers of hush money, illegal commands (from a commanding military officer), offers of murder for hire, libel, slander, lies in court, yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, inciting riots, fighting words, forged signatures, threatening to kill elected officials, false representations concerning products or services for sale… these are all “merely” cases of “using words”. Just like the Evil One (AKA “Father of Lies”), Jesse says lies are all A-OK and utterly harmless! So do NOT believe ANYTHING that you hear from JesseAZ!

            Also according to the same source, JesseAZ is TOTALLY on board with dictatorship (presumably so long as it is an “R” dictator that we are talking of).
            With reference to Trump, JesseAZ says…
            “He is not constitutionally bound on any actions he performed.”

            I say again, this is important…
            “He is not constitutionally bound on any actions he performed.”
            We need a BRILLIANTLY persuasive new movie from JesseAZ to “Wake Up, America!”, to flesh out the concept that “The Triumph of The Will of The Trump, Trumps All”! Including the USA Constitution. In fact, USA military personnel should start swearing allegiance to Trump, NOT to some stupid, moldering old piece of paper!
            Previous Powerful People have blazed a path for us to follow here, slackers!!!

          3. Fuck off you retarded lying troll, if you’d bother reading your own goddamn cite, you’d see that Scott’s draft proposal doesn’t say anything about QI. Just because you’re a stupid lying sack of shit doesn’t mean the rest of us are as stupid as you and don’t know you’re a lying shitweasel troll.

          4. JesseAz,

            You are so dishonest. Your own link states that the White House opposes ending QI (it’s a “non-starter”). So, again, pointing to a piece where Republicans propose some sort of “police reform” (because, obviously, if they don’t they will lose the Senate), does not respond to, much less refute, the point by sarcasmic that the “right” is not onboard with ending QI. But I see from SQRLSY One that you have said:

            ““Words are words dumbfuck. Actions are where morals and ethics lie.”, says JesseAZ

            So you don’t believe lying is a problem. Dishonesty is, in fact, immoral. You are profoundly dishonest.

          5. And I’ll lay you 10 to 1, that it will be all whitewash and bullshit, and very little actual reform. DItto for the democrats.

            Politicians like having their muscle to protect them against the unwashed masses who vote them into office.

      2. In this case law changes on what is considered suspicious activities and what qualifies as a valid assumption would be more applicable. For example ending the pulling over of cars for slight swerves in order to search a vehicle. This has been done somewhat through the courts, but the “reasonable” cop doctrine is not well defined.

        Of course this isnt the buzzword of the day which seems to be you’re sole focus.

        1. You mean I comment on what is in the current news?

          1. No, you link on buzzwords of the day. You can link to a comment on QI in the last year you’ve made to prove me wrong. QI didnt become a problem in the last week.

    2. Personal liability/accountability matters. All it takes is for a few cops to be ruined financially before every cop has it in the back of their mind next time they feel like someone deserve a couple extra kicks for making them run.

      1. Except most unions have agreements in place to cover personally liable suits against the police. Which is why blue states also protect QI doctrine.

        1. Those agreements are renegotiated often. You think many will survive the death of QI? Doubtful.

          Quit white knighting for the GOP just because they oppose ending QI and increasing police accountability. Admit that you and the GOP support cops killing without consequence, or get on board with disempowering police.

          This dishonest nit picking is embarrassing to witness. Like anyone is fooled that you have some niche, unheard of principal that won’t allow you to consider ending QI. Your objections are just tribalism.

          1. It’s not white-knighting for the GOP, it’s a fucking troll. Stop feeding the troll, you’ll never get a good-faith argument out of it. It’s a piece of shit, wipe it off the bottom of your shoe and move on.

            1. Good advice.

      2. All it takes is for a few cops to be ruined financially before every cop has it in the back of their mind next time

        But that likely wouldn’t happen, even if cops could be sued personally. In the current climate, if qualified immunity really went away– REALLY went away, the union would merely provide ‘malpractice insurance’ for said cops and we’d be right back where we started. The union would merely cover whatever cost burden for said insurance in their next round of negotiations, which local government would fall all over themselves to honor. And even if the Union started to struggle financially with keeping up with the costs of such insurance, the union would receive a public bailout by the same politicians because no politician wants to see the pensions of our hardworking public servants not be honored.

        Always remember, the shit’s chess it ain’t checkers.

        1. And that malpractice insurance would be free? Ending QI is a great way to let the market price risk for each police officer. Self regulating problem.

        2. Sorry, missed the portion of your argument covering the public bail out of the insurance funds. I don’t think that would happen. Police unions are hugely unpopular right now. They will have no political capital to negotiate such a sweet heart deal. Cities are already defunding their police to the tune of $100’s of millions.

          The writing is on the wall. Police accountability is coming in some form or fashion.

          1. 12 million LP votes would be writing on the wall. George Wallace got under 10 million and his 13% got the Klan on the GOP platform committee ever since. This would be the opportunity to reverse all the cruelty and injustice since 1968–if only the National LP hadn’t saddled Jo Jorgensen with a communist anarchist running mate!

      3. “Personal liability/accountability matters.”

        Agreed! Copsuckers like JesseSPAZI and Der TrumpfenFuhrer stand in our way, though, of course!

        You know what ELSE stands in our way? Armed goons who deliberately conceal their IDs! We should be going in the exact opposite direction! Like football jerseys with giant ID numbers, maybe!

        They are removing name tags and unit-affiliation-badges-etc., from uniforms, so that the jackbooted thugs can’t even be IDed in any way! We won’t be able to hold them individually accountable, or even unit-affiliation-accountable, when they skull-crack 75-year-old men! Reminds me of the Russians in Ukraine in recent years! What next, politicians hiding their IDs behind masks? Like the KKK did?

        Armed riot officers without identifying marks or badges began manning the perimeter around the White House Wednesday morning, and now a Virginia congressman says he is working on legislation to stop it from happening again.

      4. All it takes is a few ridiculous judge decisions to make every cop not do his job in the manner necessary as well. QI is a problem here because the judges are idiots, but the concept is correct. Everyone is mad at the cops (as they should be) but Cuomo killed many, many more and not a peep that he should pay anything at all

        1. We seem to forget that most cops’ main job is generating revenue through writing citations for things like speeding – an extra tax for driving 5 mph over the limit enforced capriciously.

          And gonna get worse with the drop in regular tax revenue courtesy of the lockdown geniuses.

    3. ” I’m not sure why the victim didn’t sue the city or the department at large”

      Because for the most part they can’t.
      To sue the department and/or city, you have to show that the cop was acting in accordance with official policy.

    4. Yep.
      Attacks on QI (but only as regards cops) and bans on chokeholds are pretty much just virtue signals to satisfy the most shallow among us

      1. The non-shallow among us are copsuckers and admirers of the Trumptatorshit!

    5. as big as the problem is, no single thing can be the complete fix….. but getting rid on it would make the biggest impact. loopholes in laws, police regulations, and the cronyism you describe will still be a problem…. but if a cop knows he could lose his house for beating up an innocent man in front of his own house, the culture of police action would begin to change drastically.

  4. Us peasants are told “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” But cops?
    Judges: “No one on this particular street at this particular address has ever been put in this situation before, therefore it isn’t expected that cops need to identify themselves or avoid provoking resistance from peaceful persons.”
    Also note that this incident took place in 2016 (nothing like swift justice?) when Cleveland had a Democrat mayor and the Federal Dept. of Justice was under a Democrat president.

  5. Unmarked car, no uniforms, didn’t identify themselves as cops – these are assailants, not cops. Judge U. Abattoir would not have upheld their qualified immunity.

    1. He should have turned around and filed criminal charges on them on behalf of the plaintiff.

    2. Agree. I can’t remotely understand the legal rationale for creating QI protection BEFORE they have even identified themselves in some way as cops-on-duty. The way it stands not only does it appear that they have QI 24/7 – but that is also then required that everyone else be able to telepathically know who is a cop and who isn’t. Hell even the rules of war require that soldiers identify that they are soldiers before they get Geneva protections

  6. “To avoid ‘paralysis by analysis,’ qualified immunity protects all but plainly incompetent officers or those who knowingly violate the law.”

    Heaven fucking forbid we have any chilling effect on state agents acting like lawless fucktwats.

    1. “To avoid ‘paralysis by analysis,’ qualified immunity protects all but plainly incompetent officers or those who knowingly violate the law.”

      It protects those cops as well.

    2. what gets me is how this isn’t plainly incompetent or knowingly violating the law….. a cop who beats you up for giving him lip should either know that is wrong or is plainly incompetent, IMHO.

      1. Agreed, foo. This really needs to be a criminal case against the officers for assault under color of authority.

        Assuming, of course, that the facts are as stated in the article. I’m sure nothing’s been left out.

        1. That is a big ‘if’ considering the recent record of this publication = Assuming, of course, that the facts are as stated in the article. I’m sure nothing’s been left out.

    3. It’s the 1860s with Spooner warning us: “If he should call upon his neighbors, or any others who, like him, may be disposed to resist our demands, and they should come in large numbers to his assistance, cry out that they are all rebels and traitors; that “our country” is in danger; call upon the commander of our hired murderers; tell him to quell the rebellion and “save the country,” cost what it may. Tell him to kill all who resist, though they should be hundreds of thousands, and thus strike terror into all others similarly disposed. See that the work of murder is thoroughly done; that we may have no further trouble of this kind hereafter. When these traitors shall have thus been taught our strength and our determination, they will be good loyal citizens for many years, and pay their taxes without a why or a wherefore.” Lincoln was Republican, remember?

  7. It is worse. The judges did not rule that there was any constitutional violation at all, and parts of the ruling can be used to defend cops in the future. This ruling is a disaster.

    1. My only sliver of hope is that this ruling was deliberately made so shockingly horrible so that it’s bound to be overturned on appeal and SCOTUS finally gets off its ass and does something about it. Because otherwise it’s just a straight-up spit in the face that the King’s Men are above the law.

      1. Highly unlikely. It would be far easier to get SCOTUS attention to rule that there is no QI. There are already many cases of equal horribleness that SCOTUS has passed on.

  8. Is this a problem with how qualified immunity law is actually written or is it a problem with judges being tools? Because getting rid of qualified immunity will not change the judges being tools and they will find other excuses for being one.

    I mean, why the resort to claiming confusion about established law under the fourth amendment? Castle doctrine under common law should suggest that the officers arrest was illegal, I would think as a layman.

    1. QI law was never written. It was made up by judges.

      1. Until you stop the judiciary from torturing logic to get to an answer they feel comfortable with, then it is not going away.

        1. How exactly do you propose to do that? Amul Thapar is an originalist/textualist (from wikipedia: “Thapar also speaks at law schools across the country on originalism, textualism, civility, and other topics.” and he also wrote). The Cato Institute has an article on their website titled “Trump Should Take a Serious Look at Amul Thapar for the Supreme Court”.

          Many of the same commentators who talk about “judicial overreach” go on to support civil asset forfeiture and qualified immunity. Because after all, courts holding police officers accountable for their actions encroaches on the police power of the executive.

    2. QI is one piece of the puzzle.

    3. “Is this a problem with how qualified immunity law is actually written or is it a problem with judges being tools? Because getting rid of qualified immunity will not change the judges being tools and they will find other excuses for being one”


  9. When police officers make a mistake, they call it “a lapse in judgment” and expect everyone to just forgive and forget. But the truth is, it is neither a lapse nor does it have anything at all to do with judgment. There is no lapse or interval. Everything cops do is deliberate, calculated, planned and premeditated. Police training stresses the importance of carefully and completely contemplating every decision and every action. There are no lapses. As for judgment, again, every assessment and appraisal police officers make is founded in and grounded in repetitive training meant to instill robot-like programming. There is never a “lapse in judgment” as they claim. Instead, what there is, is forethought and planning of an illegal or unethical action with a well-founded confidence and expectation that one of their brothers in blue, a prosecutor or the very courts themselves will look the other way.

  10. According to wiki Judge Amul Thapar participates in a program that sends law students into underprivileged high schools to teach the basin underpinnings of our legal system. I presume that he has them teach that you are screwed if a cop stops you and then beats you. He would get QI. Unless, of course, the same cop had previously stopped your twin brother while driving the same car on the same road at the same time on the same day of the week.

  11. Allegedly. Okay.

  12. It was after he was tackled that Howse realized the men were police officers.

    How? Did they start eating donuts, or what?

    1. Maybe it was the cuffs, but probably they dug a knee or 3 into his back / neck at that point.

  13. Of course, we now have clear precedent that a reasonable response is to burn down the precinct house.

    1. Drummer boy at Cleveland: “Oh look, they’re burning down the church, and the judge’s mansion and courthouse!”
      Ebeneezer the drunk, smiling: “That’s a shame…”

  14. This shithead judge is on the Scotus short list. There is no defending QI at this point. I’m glad this has become a focal point because it is indefensible, stupid, but sufficiently esoteric that getting changes made, before these protests, was impossible.

    This is where judges should just get Kelo’d. Have the cops show up on his doorstep, ask if he lives there, disbelieve him, then kick the shit out of him.

    1. Wait. This judge is Republican? I’m actually going to enjoy watching the Biden-Bernie-AOC commies beat the nationalsocialists’ hands outta the till while I vote Libertarian!

  15. It’s really amazing that there haven’t been more (or any) snipers taking out cops on a regular basis.

    1. It works well, if you’re willing to die in the attempt. See, for example, the shooter in Dallas, East Baton Rouge, the PA State Police barracks sniper (though I think that guy didn’t die, probably because he was white, LOL), the latest shooting outside the federal building in Oakland (also white-ish, also alive), the coffeehouse/diner shooter in I want to say Seattle, where 4 cops died.

      They tend it take it personally, with little repeat business possible from the shooter.

    2. If the cops do not want to be used as eugenics SS troops or Dry Killers, they themselves could vote libertarian. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition spokesmen whine and panhandle, but never mention the one thing that would make a difference: libertarian spoiler votes!

  16. nobody is above the law, especially those supposedly enforcing it. i don’t think the powers that be really understand that this is what everyone is really pissed about….. the double standard. that cops are doing things like this is problem enough, but what really makes everyone angry is that the cops get away with it. you beat a man up in his front yard, unprovoked, you go to jail…. unless you are a cop. you shoot someone fleeing in the back, you go to jail…. unless you are a cop. there are so many things that average civilians get thrown in jail for that never have any consequences when cops do them. what was intended as a way to prevent frivolous lawsuits for legitimate use of force has effectively become a shield from any accountability. and what is worse, having that shield makes it more likely that cops will cross what should otherwise be a clear line. it needs to go away.

  17. They exceeded their jurisdiction and acted outside their authority. They destroyed their immunity. Don’t let the BAR Association criminals push this into a statutory jurisdiction. Bring a Tort Claim in a common law court of record.

    1. “That flag is an admiralty flag…”

  18. Every last one of these criminals needs to meet a guillotine. Every last one of them, from the criminal non-judicial magistrates to the prosecutors and the cops. All of them!
    This is why I have a gun on my hip at ALL times. Pull up to my house and try that shit, I dare you.
    My rights aren’t civil & your immunity is a fairy tale.

  19. “The test for whether one is living in a police state is that those who are charged with enforcing the law are allowed to break the laws with impunity.” ~ Jon Roland

  20. “It was after he was tackled that Howse realized the men were police officers.” Right, because nobody could be that arrogant unless the Republican Platform were dedicated to them as a collective gang: “We dedicate this platform with admiration and gratitude to all who stand strong… The men and women of our … law enforcement.” That is the unqualified immunity Lysander Spooner warned us against in 1868. It’s good that the fascisti be defeated by the other half-Kleptocracy, before Second Term faith-based destruction of the economy can proceed any further.

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  21. It has been noted, with good reason, that waving a red cape in front of a bull is unwise. Police actions, in some cases, seem to show a complete disregard for this dictum. One hopes that the wrong headedness, of this attitude is recognized and corrected before public patience is exhausted. By the way, it appears that the above mentioned wrong headedness is not limited to police agencies, it carries over, unfortunately, to the courts too.

  22. When all participants of a “system” are feeding from the same nose-bag, free from competition — and are allowed (by your neighbors and friends — hopefully not you) to
    • Make the laws,
    • Enforce the laws,
    • Prosecute the laws,
    • Hire the prosecutors,
    • License the “defense” attorneys,
    • Pay the “judges”,
    • Build the jails,
    • Contract jails out to private entities,
    • Employ and pay the wardens,
    • Employ and pay the guards,
    • Employ and pay the parole officers,
    One can’t honestly call it a “justice” system. It’s a system of abject tyranny.

  23. THIS is why people run. This is why people hate cops. This is why cops are maligned. The police culture is the problem. But that culture is really just a reflection of the American culture

  24. So, is Circuit Judge Amul Thapar a) stupid b) incompetent c) corrupt d) all of the above

    I’d vote for d) and I believe more Americans are starting to wake up to the fact that the entire system is a corrupt, circular, self-sustaining vat of evil. When will it reach critical mass?

  25. A pity politicians get qualified immunity regarding their spectacularly bad decisions of late. Can anyone really sue a governor for gross incompetence?

  26. Qualified immunity sucks. Also, you have to be an ex prosecutor or otherwise suck up to the police state to ever get nominated for a judgeship in any state with a Republican state house or governor.

    If the public finally woke up to acknowledge the police state, do they know how to fix it? I doubt it. Why? “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil, for every one hacking at the root.” Henry David Thoreau
    Only striking the root cause, authoritarianism, i.e., putting violence before reason by initiating it, threatening it against all, most of whom are innocent, but all deserve to be considered innocent until proven guilty by due process, not “trial by cop”, will solve the problem of the coercive govt.
    When authority, i.e., the public sector, is judged like the private sector, not by a double standard that deifies it, then reason, rights, and choice will reign, instead of demigods.

  28. People don’t care what someone says about you in the movie, no matter what you say. They care what you have done. Let me share geometry dash

  29. Cleveland. Another city run by Democrats for decades.

  30. Isn’t there some ruling about officers violating a home’s curtilage without probable cause? How does a guy sitting on his porch answering questions truthfully generate probable cause? “He looked at me funny” doesn’t really seem to cut it to me.

  31. “The officers needed to be specifically told by the courts that assaulting someone who disobeys an order and using “additional force” when that person resists arrest violates the Fourth Amendment.”

    Well that seems to be a Catch 22, he argues that the courts have to tell the cops it’s illegal, but he, an officer of the court, refuses to be the one to do it.

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  34. If we get rid of qualified immunity, cops will have to consider their actions under stressful conditions?! Holy shit, you mean just like surgeons, airline pilots, and may others who don’t have qualified immunity? THE HORROR!

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