Qualified Immunity

Cops Who Beat a Man After Pulling Him Over for Broken Lights Receive Qualified Immunity

The victim will now have no right to argue his case before a jury in civil court.

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In 2016, Gregory Tucker was driving in Shreveport, Louisiana, when police pulled him over for broken brake and license plate lights. The stop ended with him on the ground as officers punched and kicked him before arresting him over traffic infractions.

A federal court ruled yesterday that those cops are entitled to qualified immunity, the legal doctrine that makes it difficult to hold government officials accountable in civil court when they violate your rights.

The decision overturns a lower court ruling that denied the officers qualified immunity. Tucker will now have no right to bring his suit before a jury to determine whether damages are appropriate.

After pulling Tucker over on December 1, 2016, Shreveport Police Department (SPD) Officer Chandler Cisco initiated two searches: a pat-down outside of Tucker's car, and a more invasive search next to Cisco's police vehicle. Officers William McIntire and Yondarius Johnson arrived during the latter interaction; four seconds after approaching, McIntire and Cisco forced Tucker to the ground, where he hit his head.

He was not informed he was under arrest.

Officer Tyler Kolb then came on the scene, after which time the four officers began beating Tucker as they tried to place him in handcuffs. "The three videos of the arrest show Defendant Officers repeatedly punching Tucker as he lay on the ground. Each struck him at least once," reads the opinion from the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, authored by District Judge Elizabeth Erny Foote. "Cisco admits to 'multiple hard closed hand strikes' to Tucker's shoulder and rib cage and 'a few additional hard closed hand strikes,' at least two of which were to Tucker's face; a video of the incident shows at least three strikes."

Tucker had "a lot of blood" on his face, Johnson admits. He was arrested and booked for his broken lights, for flight from an officer (another misdemeanor), and for public intimidation—a felony—not because of any physical menace he presented to the officers, but because, according to Cisco, he threatened to pursue legal action against them.

While Cisco says that no officer kicked Tucker, "a dashcam video shows McIntire's thigh moving at least three times in a manner that is consistent with either a knee strike (to which McIntire admits) or a kick," notes Foote. McIntire admitted to "two palm strikes on Tucker's face, a knee strike, at least one punch to the face, and possibly punches to Tucker's back and shoulder blades; his video shows at least two blows."

To decide if officers are protected by qualified immunity, the judges considered whether it was "clearly established" somewhere in a previous court precedent that it is unconstitutional to exert that much force in response to a petty traffic violation.

In searching for the answer, the court outlined a few factors: Tucker didn't initially pull over when Cisco activated his siren, but instead drove for two minutes into a neighborhood and stopped in a driveway. (The officer admits Tucker did not speed.) Another relevant factor: Tucker's legs were kicking while officers tried to handcuff him.

"The movement appears almost involuntary," writes Foote. "Tucker is not aiming his legs in any particular direction. Therefore, although Tucker's legs were moving during some portions of the struggle on the ground, the Court infers that he was not deliberately attempting to kick any of the officers. Moreover, because he was lying face down with four officers surrounding him, the Court also infers that the movement of his legs was not designed to enable him to flee."

The district court concluded that the approach violated "clearly established" case law on the matter. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit disagreed, pointing to granular distinctions in the fact patterns among those previous rulings.

"It certainly strikes me as the pendulum swinging back in the direction of requiring extremely analogous facts in order to avoid qualified immunity," says Clark Neily, the senior vice president for legal studies at the Cato Institute, "because the plaintiff in this case was able to cite a number of excessive force cases that seemed quite analogous, but none of them was directly on point."

This is unfortunately not an unusual ruling. Cops who allegedly stole $225,000 while executing a search warrant, for instance, were given qualified immunity because there was no court precedent that expressly said stealing, under those exact circumstances, is unconstitutional. This same reasoning has led to qualified immunity for a cop who shot a 10-year-old, two cops who sicced a police canine on a surrendered suspect, and a cop who allegedly kneed a subdued man in the eye multiple times causing lasting damage.

In recent months, the U.S. Supreme Court has attempted to push the pendulum back to center, reversing two qualified immunity rulings from the 5th Circuit on the grounds that they applied too meticulous a standard. In November, the high court rejected a decision that gave qualified immunity to several prison guards who forced a naked inmate into a cell covered in "massive amounts" of human feces and another cell with sewage bubbling up from the floor. In February, the Court reversed another 5th Circuit ruling that gave qualified immunity to a correctional officer who pepper-sprayed an inmate in the face without provocation.

Unless the high court agrees to hear Tucker's petition, he will have no such luck.

"My takeaway from this opinion is that it reflects a really pernicious dynamic among the federal courts of appeals, particularly the 5th Circuit, which is to almost completely marginalize the role of citizen jurors in resolving disputes of this kind," adds Neily. "The basic vision of the Founders, who viewed citizen juries as indispensable to the civic life of a liberal democracy, and the extent to which judges have almost completely marginalized [that], I think is one of the most remarkable, and yet unremarked, developments of the modern judiciary."

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59 responses to “Cops Who Beat a Man After Pulling Him Over for Broken Lights Receive Qualified Immunity

  1. LOL. Lolberts have no one to blame but themselves. Libertarianism encourages extreme societal atomization advocating for the dissolution of traditional hierarchical structures — religion, community, and family. Ironically, this leaves the state and megacorps as the only institutions with any power. Because individuals have no collective or local identities, they are powerless in fighting both. Which is exactly why the ideology relies on the NAP — a ridiculous deus ex machina that is utopian and unrealizable. Similarly, notions of right and wrong known in the blood are neutralized and hypnotized by nebulous principles like “rights” and “rule of law” all bullshit. The state, megacorps, the communists don’t care. All that matters is power and the will to power. The only means of checking abuses of power are collective violence or the threat of violence.

    1. Not even fucking close and exactly the opposite. The Jesus freaks are the biggest thugs. The traditional types are the most authoritarian. Football and Jesus around here. Pure insanity.

      1. Lol. No argument. Guess the truth hurts. I would be able to understand the preoccupation with hyperindividualism if libertarians were aesthetically superior people, but that’s never the case. Usually they’re skinnyfat weirdos with unkempt facial hair with bugmen consumption habits and a gadsden flag on their shitty pickup truck. LOSERS.

        And what’s wrong with authoritarianism? As long as it’s megacorp, authoritarianism is fine with you guys.

        1. JohnnyAppleseed – 1
          JohnnyAppleseed’s Straw Man – 0

        2. preoccupation with hyperindividualism

          Look up: psychology projection

          if libertarians were aesthetically superior people, but that’s never the case. Usually they’re skinnyfat weirdos with unkempt facial hair with bugmen consumption habits and a gadsden flag on their shitty pickup truck. LOSERS.

          So why are you wasting the time?

          As long as it’s megacorp, authoritarianism is fine with you guys.

          How has any “megacorp” oppressed anyone? Oh, you got kicked off of Facefuck? Well, I’m not on Facefuck. When has any “megacorp” ever forced me to buy their product? The government is more dangerous than “megacorps”. Megacorps don’t have anywhere near the influence on government than the people themselves voting like assholes does.

    2. You figure toddler-level superstition is an antidote to abusive policing, JohnnyAppleseed?

      Enjoy getting stomped in the culture war by your betters for the rest of your life.

      1. No but local organization is — neighbors protecting neighbors (see battle of Athens). Similarly, it’s an effective antidote to globohomo degeneracy. See with minimal armed organization, it’s pretty easy to remove you commie subhumans and your inferior bloodlines from society. Unlike conservatives and lolberts, transcendent types recognize your kind aren’t human.

        1. If you arent a sock, get help before you end up getting catfished by the FBI.

      2. Only a matter of time until the culture war becomes real war. Hope you’re ready…

        1. Only a matter of time until the culture war becomes real war. Hope you’re ready…

          Eventually. With continued urbanization, the liberals and regressives will eventually control all three branches of the fed gov and most state govs, unchecked by the right. They’ll enact all of their economic and social idiocy unchecked by the right – all inflationists on Federal Reserve board, oppressive strangling economic regulations and taxes for “global warming”, firearms prohibition and confiscation. It’ll cause economic chaos and civil unrest. It’ll be urban vs. rural. The way to prepare is to make sure each free state and county has a well-regulated militia under state law. If the urbanists are weak and the ruralists are strong, the urbanists will back off and not try to enforce fed laws in rural territory. Plus, the ruralists could cut off the urbanists from food, fuel, electricity, water.

    3. Libertarianism advocates for none of that and you’re simply delusional.

      Doubly so if you think we have enough influence to accomplish it.

    4. Are you saying we’ll never apply the NAP to government because it’s already prohibited for private citizens to initiate force against others.

    5. “relies on the NAP — a ridiculous deus ex machina that is utopian and unrealizable.”

      You sounds like a very unstable person, but I’m with you on this. NAP/Pacifism is only achievable in a perfect world. In the real world, its a good way to get your ass kicked.

    6. “Because individuals have no collective or local identities, they are powerless in fighting both.”

      Inside a collectivist bubble of two foot thick concrete it is obvious to the collectivist, that the only possible solution to all of the problems caused by collectivism is more collectivism.

      I can hear “Kill the Kulaks” even through that thick and dense concrete.

    7. Oh lort, who let Bronze Age Pervert–emphasis on “pervert”–in here? Or maybe Sohrab Amari.

    8. Libertarianism encourages extreme societal atomization advocating for the dissolution of traditional hierarchical structures — religion, community, and family.

      Bullshit. Let’s have a reference to any libertarian who has encouraged that. Sure, there’re libertarian atheists. Give me proof of supernatural other than your subjective desires.

      Ironically, this leaves the state and megacorps as the only institutions with any power. Because individuals have no collective or local identities, they are powerless in fighting both.

      More bullshit. They have individual identities which are always much stronger motivators than collective or local. That which affects us most personally motivates most strongly.

      Which is exactly why the ideology relies on the NAP — a ridiculous deus ex machina that is utopian and unrealizable.

      No ideal is ever perfectly realizable. No conservatism, no anarchism, no whatever is ever perfectly realizable. The test of an ideal is if the more it’s implemented, the better life becomes.

      Similarly, notions of right and wrong known in the blood …

      “known in the blood”? Ha! Ha! Ha! You mean your feelzy weelzies, huh?

      are neutralized and hypnotized by nebulous principles like “rights” and “rule of law” all bullshit. The state, megacorps, the communists don’t care. All that matters is power and the will to power. The only means of checking abuses of power are collective violence or the threat of violence.

      All that matters is will to resist and to freedom. I much prefer rights and rule of law to brains blown out on the ground. Ever been in a war, kid? Yeah, one day the time may come. Hopefully, after I’m dead, maybe not. The cause of freedom may be defended by the force of arms, but rarely advanced by them. Be careful of that for which one wishes.

  2. At some point the police will be working for private corporations and the tone will change on the reporting. Hey you can always go live somewhere else right?

    1. This. Except police already work for someone else. Libertarians are as stupid as communists. Hyperindividualism is a mental disorder — more accurately an advertising preference bundle created to sell its subscribers American spirits, pickup trucks, and shitty whiskey.

      1. In Libertopia where only initiating force is illegal there won’t be much need for cops.

      2. Hyperindividualism is a mental disorder

        Look up search terms: psychology projection

    2. Be how much credence you give to any of this without checking further. There’s not been a single incident that I’ve looked so far where Billy Binion hasn’t completely turned it upside down, given half-truths or ignored facts that are inconvenient to his agenda. I refuse to take this shithead seriously or get even annoyed at any situation he brings forth because it always ends up a waste of time. Binion is just a chronic liar, hates cops in general, and would never find anything to their benefit. Some schleb child rapist says some cop put the cuffs on too tight, and Billy jumps on it like a Baptist preacher and Billy’s opinions and the rapist’s allegations become facts. Nobody here questions it.

      One doesn’t even have to look past his own words for the bullshit. Binion says the guy cannot bring his lawsuit to a jury when in fact he can and actually IS suing the government that employs the cops. But that doesn’t play into Binion’s war against qualified immunity. Forget qualified immunity, as it exists in every employment situation. It’s call “agency” and it applies to every employee. If the gas meter reader breaks into your house, suing him is out of the question, but you can sue the gas company.

      Like the meter reader, cops can and do pay for their actions, just not to their victim. Punishments can and do range from a black mark on the service record to being fired, to prison.

      1. Why not include Jacob Sullum with Billy Binion and the rest of the delusional anti-cop fanatics at Reason? If everyone at Reason convicts all cops in all instances, you can predict how often cops will need to defend themselves against charges by John Q. Public.

      2. “Binion says the guy cannot bring his lawsuit to a jury when in fact he can and actually IS suing the government that employs the cops.”

        That’s for a different claims, not the straightforward excessive force claim he had against the officer.

        “Forget qualified immunity, as it exists in every employment situation.”

        It most certainly does not.

        “It’s call “agency” and it applies to every employee.”

        No, it really doesn’t.

        “If the gas meter reader breaks into your house, suing him is out of the question,”

        No it is not. You can absolutely sue a gas meter reader who breaks into your house. Of course, the police will probably be willing to arrest a gas meter reader who breaks into your house.

        “but you can sue the gas company.”

        You can sue, but you probably won’t win because employers generally are not responsible for the illegal conduct of their employees that exceeds the scope of their employment.

        You are laughably ignorant of the law, and I’m not just talking about qualified immunity.

  3. In recent months, the U.S. Supreme Court has attempted to push the pendulum back to center, reversing two qualified immunity rulings from the 5th Circuit on the grounds that they applied too meticulous a standard.

    So, in other words, they used the same thought process to ignore SCOTUS as they did to award qualified immunity.

    1. Not really. It’s more like they were paying attention to the Supreme Court but the Supreme Court recently changed its tune. Until this year the Supreme Court had never reversed a grant of qualified immunity. But they repeatedly summarily reversed courts that had denied qualified immunity, typically without much in the way of explanation (it was part of the so-called “Shadow Docket”). Lower courts naturally understood that to mean that they should be aggressive with applying qualified immunity. Hopefully that is starting to change, but it’s very early to get too excited.

  4. “The victim will now have no right to argue his case before a jury in civil court.”

    Why doesn’t the victim have the right to argue his case before a jury in civil court when he sues the city of Shreveport?

    1. In virtually all of these cases, the plaintiff files a single lawsuit under Section 1983 for violations of his federal civil rights against both the individual officer and the municipality, along with any claims that are available under state law for violations of state, rather than federal, law.

      When you hear about a municipality settling a case with a plaintiff, they are almost always resolving all of the claims, including the claims against the individual officer (municipalities are generally required to defend and pay any judgment against the individual officer by the collective bargaining agreement). Despite all you’ve read about the horrors of qualified immunity, and they are true, it’s still generally easier to prevail on the claim against the individual officer than it is against the city. There is no respondeat superior doctrine for municipalities making them liable for the constitutional violations of their employees. Instead, the plaintiff has to prove that the constitutional violation resulted from the (1) formal policy of the municipality, (2) an informal custom promulgated by the municipality that is essentially equivalent to a formal policy, or (3) a failure to train its employees to the extent that it demonstrates a deliberate indifference. It is very difficult to tie the actions of an individual officer to any of these categories. The city almost certainly does not have a policy directing officers to shoot tear gas canisters at people’s faces, and probably has one saying not to. One recent plaintiff was able to do so when the municipality’s training manual included cartoons joking about constitutional violations, but that kind of evidence rarely exists. This is a summary of the Monell doctrine for municipal liability, which is actually more hopeful than most, but make sure not to ignore the end about how it works in practice.
      https://www.lawfareblog.com/municipal-liability-police-misconduct-lawsuits

      And while it’s certainly true that Section 1983 and qualified immunity wouldn’t be such a big deal if prosecutors would prosecute officers for misconduct, that misses the point. Congress enacted Section 1983 specifically to give people a remedy when the state and local officials were not doing an adequate job of protecting them.

      1. “It’s still generally easier to prevail on the claim against the individual officer than it is against the city.”

        So, he does, in fact, have the right to argue his case before a jury in civil court?

        1. Not really. He has to argue a more difficult claim. Even if the Monell claim survives a motion for summary judgment, it’s a different claim than an excessive force claim against an individual officer. In a Monell claim against the City, the jury could decide in favor of the plaintiff that the officers used excessive force in violation of the plaintiff’s constitutional rights but still decide that the City is not liable because there was no official policy in place that led to the violation.

          1. And therein lies another nexus of evil that cannot be addressed.

            The court gives protection to individual officers, so no remedy there. Individual actions are difficult to press against the state because they were individual actors…. Again protected by procedural hurdles placed by the court.

            But the victim is a victim of the system as a whole… The judges are included, as are prosecutors in many cases.

            As in the case where the cops stole $250,000… Acting as a system of police, prosecutors and courts working on behalf of the state, they stole from him. And there is nowhere to go for redress of that greivance. You must turn to the court… Who are one of the purpetrators. Or the prosecutor… Same deal. And your last option… The politicians. But they are limited in the scope of their power, and their interests generally will not align with yours against the power of the rest of the state.

          2. So when an officer breaks the department policies by beating and robbing you, you can’t win a suit against the city or PD because he wasn’t following policy. But you can’t sue the officer personally unless a court has previously found the exact way in which he beat and robbed you unconstitutional, because how would the officer have known that breaking the department policies was wrong?

            1. Pretty much. And, as previously encouraged by the Supreme Court, courts have made incredibly fine distinctions from prior cases to award qualified immunity. For example, a suspect was being chased by police and decided to surrender so he sat down and put his hands up. After he was already sitting down with his hands up, an officer sicced his police dog on the suspect. There was a case in the circuit which held that police could not sic a dog on suspects who had surrendered by lying down on the ground, but because he surrendered by sitting down instead of lying down there was no case directly on point and the officer was entitled to qualified immunity. Fortunately the Supreme Court is starting to send signals the other direction now.

              It is possible to win a case against an individual officer without a case directly on point if the constitutional violation is particularly obvious and egregious, but that is exceedingly rare. The prison guard who pepper sprayed an inmate in the face because he was pissed off at a different inmate (the inmate he was mad at covered the front of his cell with his mattress so the guard just pepper sprayed the next inmate) is one example where the Supreme Court said it was so obvious that you couldn’t do that that the inmate didn’t need a case on point (but note that the Fifth Circuit had granted qualified immunity).

            2. It’s rare and a loophole at best. Yes, they can and do sue the city and win all the time. BUT…. someone spots a case somewhere or hypothesizes that it could happen under their opinion of the law, and suddenly, everyone is quoting it like it’s the rule instead of a very rare exception.

              1. “Yes, they can and do sue the city and win all the time.”

                They sue the city all the time, but they do not win the vast majority of the time.

      2. “Too much” of anything is, one-way-or-another, bad for you. Too much ice cream is bad for you. Too much medium-rare ribeye steak is also bad for you. And too much “qualified immunity” which police love like a child loves ice cream, can be bad for them. Why?

        People in this society generally go to the courts to petition for redress of injury and violations of rights. But there is a long history in the United States, and going back before the U. S. was ever thought of, that after repeated disappointments from the system, everyday citizens will abandon “the system” and seek their own form of redress and reparation. When this happens because the courtroom door is sealed shut against them, the type of citizen (or if you will, mob) justice then meted out to malefactors by those whom they have tormented can be quick, even summary, with less concern about the niceties of evidence or rights of appeal and reconsideration. The Vigilantes of Montana is an old book, but an interesting read about what happens when the citizenry gets “fed up”. I read the saga of Derek Chauvin as another reaction of “fed up” citizens. (Did police like the outcome of that little dab of mob justice, even though it was administered “under the robes”?) If the police are not adult enough to recognize that they lately have been gorging on a bit “too much” qualified immunity, legislatures will be doing them a favor, much as a parent protects a child, to limit the amount of “qualified immunity” that gets “passed around”.

    2. And if the officer is an employee of the state rather than a municipality, such as a state highway patrolman, then you can’t sue the state for damages (you can get other types of relief) because it’s protected by sovereign immunity and a state doesn’t count as a person under Section 1983. Many (all?) states have passed laws allowing people to sue the state in certain circumstances, but these laws typically do not include anything allowing a plaintiff to sue the state for damages inflicted by the discretionary actions of state employees.

      The link is to an article about the State of California settling a lawsuit for excessive force against a CHiPs officer for $2.5 million dollars. While the lawsuit initially named CHiPs as a defendant, the plaintiff agreed to dismiss CHiPs and its commissioner almost immediately and when the case went to trial the only defendant was the individual officer. So while California settled the case, it was settling the case against the individual officer, not California.
      https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2015/02/03/state-to-pay-2-5-million-to-settle-chp-excessive-force-lawsuit/

  5. “were given qualified immunity because there was no court precedent that expressly said stealing, under those exact circumstances, is unconstitutional.”

    On which planet is stealing, under any circumstances, constitutional?

    1. Look up takings in the context of “police power”. Takings clause has been ignored for over a century. That’s about how long we haven’t had functioning legal or political systems.

    2. The law does not apply to police. Only department policy. If department policy doesn’t forbid stealing, or rape, or shooting children, then the cops are going to steal, rape, and kill children. Why? Because they can.

      1. You’re so full of shit. Cops can kill children and walk cuz qualified immunity. GTFOH Quit listening to your own echo.

  6. All cops should be bonded with any judgement paid by the bond company when they can’t get a bond they’re done.

    1. That is certainly an option that warrants more scrutiny.

      Too bad people treat these sorts of ideas as nutty fringe ideas that are too kooky to even bother giving them serious thought.

    2. Agreed. If a doctor can’t get malpractice insurance means likely end of career. Cops should be no different.

  7. I bet the george floyd four wish they would have used a good old fashioned beat down.

    The whole system is a joke at this point.

  8. Police are clearly the minions of the Lord of Darkness.

    Beatings for light failures are Lucas using his evil police minions to ramp up his abuse against drivers of classic British cars. Our cars never have all of their electrics working right at the same time for more than about a half an hour at a time.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist the Lucas joke, while fighting some of his gremlins myself.

    Cops, may, have dangerous psychological and neurological problems that both steer them to their profession and to this sort of abuse of others. Their very high levels of psychological and neurological problems resulting in, away from the job, issues like suicide, addiction, and domestic abuse is a correlation that points to something underlying both the on and off the job behaviors. That the pols and judges loose such people on us and protect them from any punishment for the abuses resulting from their pathology points to the abuses and the oppression being a feature and not a bug.

    A.C.A.B.
    All
    Cops
    Are
    Bureaucrats

    “Always remember the difference between economic power and political power: You can refuse to hire someone’s services or buy his products in the private sector and go somewhere else instead. In the public sector, though, if you refuse to accept a politician’s or bureaucrat’s product or services you go to jail. Ultimately, after all, all regulations are observed and all taxes are paid at gunpoint. I believe those few who can’t even see that have been short-sighted sheep, and I suggest they learn how to think conceptually, develop consistency and grasp principles soon.” ~ Rick Gaber

  9. Rulings like this should result in dead thugs with badges. Kill enough of them and their behavior will change.

    If the thugs with badges don’t want to become targets they need to eliminate qualified immunity so that the state can punish them. If the state declines to punish criminals who are state actors then it’s time for individual justice.

  10. The actions by the police officers in this article indicate the officers overstepped the line using force. Perhaps the defendant anticipated the beat down by the cops and drove to the neighborhood drive way to have witnesses. It also comes into question about the felony charge and its legitimacy. It did not appear qualified immunity would apply due to the excessive force the cops used. Police are supposed to be trained in restraining a perpetrator with minimum force. With four of them, that is one on each arm plus one to apply cuffs and one to assist. This does not sit well.

  11. Immoral actors are never really immune from justice. We all know the names of the culprits.
    “The great masses of men, though theoretically free, are seen to submit supinely to oppression and exploitation of a hundred abhorrent sorts. Have they no means of resistance? Obviously they have. The worst tyrant, even under democratic plutocracy, has but one throat to slit. The moment the majority decided to overthrow him he would be overthrown. But the majority lacks the resolution; it cannot imagine taking the risks.” ~ H. L. Mencken (1926). “Notes on Democracy,” p. 50, Alfred A. Knopf

  12. I hope he’s going to appeal.

    It should be self-evident to anyone who values human rights that once police have a suspect in custody and not resisting, they have no business inflicting punishment of any kind unless directly ordered by a judge. Because the need for force has ended.

    In addition to being wrong, such beatings give the next suspect, whether or not he’s guilty of anything, a strong incentive to resist more effectively, whether by continuing to flee in a car or by shooting at the cops before they can get their hands and billy clubs on him. I hope that cops will stop finding the beatings to be cost effective, and will stop doing them.

  13. “Cops who allegedly stole $225,000 while executing a search warrant, for instance, were given qualified immunity because there was no court precedent that expressly said stealing, under those exact circumstances, is unconstitutional.”

    I keep seeing this but is incredibly stupid. Stealing is not unconstitutional, it’s just against the law. And as the 9th circuit noted that the district court noted in it’s decision:
    “Indeed, the district court noted in its Order Granting Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment that Appellants “had access to an adequate post-deprivation remedy under California tort law.”

    What’s a little strange about the case is the two businessmen didn’t file suit until 2 years later when one of them was arrested for an unrelated matter. One of the cops involved was later convicted of accepting a 20,000 bribe from a marijuana dealer.

    1. Yeah! One case in 2019 is routinely and exclusively cited as though it were SOP. Meanwhile, there are a lot of questions regarding every aspect of this case, yet it remains the cause d’jour for Reason writers, even without facts, and generally citing their own articles as the fact base. The reason staff has simply become a joke.

    2. “Stealing is not unconstitutional, it’s just against the law.”

      When it’s done by an agent of the state, acting under color of state law, it should be both. It’s hard to think of a seizure more unreasonable than that.

      It would be like saying that battery isn’t unconstitutional, it’s just against the law. That’s true when a regular person commits a battery, but when an agent of the state commits a battery it is unconstitutional as well.

      “What’s a little strange about the case is the two businessmen didn’t file suit until 2 years later when one of them was arrested for an unrelated matter.”

      There’s a good chance the plaintiffs are full of shit in this case. Not awarding qualified immunity doesn’t mean the cops are guilty. It just means the plaintiff actually has a chance to make his case.

  14. Sounds like the plot of Porky’s II.

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  16. One doesn’t even have to look past his own words for the bullshit. Binion says the guy cannot bring his lawsuit to a jury when in fact he can and actually IS suing the government that employs the cops. But that doesn’t play into Binion’s war against qualified immunity. Forget qualified immunity, as it exists in every employment situation. It’s call “agency” and it applies to every employee. If the gas meter reader breaks into your house, suing him is out of the question, but you can sue the gas company. https://wapexclusive.com ,Like the meter reader, cops can and do pay for their actions, just not to their victim. Punishments can and do range from a black mark on the service record to being fired, to prison.

  17. I get why these people get away with shit because the court lets them, but why aren’t more of these cops found beaten/battered/dead at the hands of pissed off victims and/or their families or friends?

  18. The reason Police Officers are granted qualified immunity and usually given the benefit of the doubt is because of real life statistics. Over 60,000 Officers are assaulted and injured a year while performing their duties. Those are the Officers that did not take immediate control of a situation and gain the upper hand. If you give an Officer any inclination you are going to resist most will take immediate action to insure their safety. Many of the 60,000 are those that hesitated.

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