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Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court Decisions

Bad Samaritans, involuntary servitude, and rights without remedies.

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Please enjoy the latest edition of Short Circuit, a weekly feature from the Institute for Justice.

Pasco County, Florida punishes residents for hypothetical crimes that they have not committed. The sheriff calls it "predictive policing," and if his algorithm predicts you might fall into a life of crime, his office will make sure that you do: surveilling and harassing people (and their relatives and friends) with repeated visits to their homes, repeated citations for minor code violations, warrantless stops and seizures, and arrests over pretextual and insignificant infractions—all these things and more "to make life miserable" (in the words of a former deputy). This week, four Pasco County residents filed a lawsuit to put a stop to the program. The Tampa Bay Times has the story.

New on the Short Circuit podcast: Sometimes there's Supreme Court precedent you can distinguish and sometimes there's Precedent you can't. Listen in to find out whether the former or the latter stands in the way of challenges to the CDC's eviction moratorium and mandatory bar association fees.

  • If your understanding of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act comes from things you read on Twitter, you might be surprised to learn that "the fundamental purpose of Section 230(c)(2) is to provide platforms like Vimeo [and Twitter] with the discretion to identify and remove what they consider objectionable content from their platforms without incurring liability for each decision." Thus, per the Second Circuit, Vimeo is not liable for deleting the account of a church that promoted gay conversion therapy.
  • There are a ton of issues in the 172 pages of opinions from the Second Circuit, discussing whether an injunction is warranted against several abortion protestors for their Saturday morning activities outside an abortion clinic in Queens, New York. But now that those are all figured out, this is probably the last we'll hear about this sort of dispute.
  • Is first-degree manslaughter a categorically violent crime? The en banc Second Circuit devotes many pages and much scholarly analysis to the question, ultimately concluding that yes indeed it is. Five judges dissent. Another judge concurs but disputes the rationale. And five judges concur but write separately to note the "absurdity of the exercise we have now completed."
  • Federal prisoner spends 30 days in isolation after filing grievances against a correctional officer. Allegedly, the warden straight out told him that he was placed in isolation as retaliation for filing the grievances. Fourth Circuit: That may be, but there's still no remedy under Bivens.
  • A federal agent threatened to "blow [the] head off" his son's girlfriend's ex-boyfriend and then caused the ex-boyfriend to be arrested. Fifth Circuit: Since the allegedly unconstitutional seizure here occurred in a parking lot, whereas Bivens occurred in a private home, the damages remedy created by the Supreme Court's Bivens decision does not apply. Judge Willett, concurring: Today's result is inescapable under our decisions limiting Bivens, but this raises the troubling question whether there is any remedy for these kinds of violations by federal agents. I add my voice to those lamenting today's rights-without-remedies regime. (Bonus: Judge Willett mentions Oliva, a case where IJ has filed a cert petition.)
  • Skip the Fifth Circuit's holding on the contract dispute, and jump to page nine for a Willett-ian ode on the value of public access to court records: "Americans cannot keep a watchful eye, either in capitols or in courthouses, if they are wearing blindfolds."
  • After years of review, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service issued an opinion authorizing the harassment of an ocelot (a kind of endangered cat). Fifth Circuit: Since the harassment won't threaten the continued existence of the species, the agency decision stands.
  • An off-duty Garland, Tex. police officer travelling on the highway with his wife sees a man running from Mesquite, Tex. police officers who are yelling at him to stop. The off-duty cop directs his wife to drive toward the man, and, as they approach, the cop opens his door to stop the man. The impact knocks the man to the ground, breaking his ribs and skull, causing his brain to bleed and his ear drum to rupture. Excessive force? Fifth Circuit: We need more facts to figure out if the cop can have qualified immunity.
  • A Guatemalan citizen living in Mississippi is picked up by ICE and civilly detained. Meanwhile, she's also charged criminally in federal court for misusing a Social Security number. The magistrate judge in her criminal case orders her released on bond, under the Bail Reform Act; she's not dangerous or a flight risk. But ICE continues to detain her civilly, invoking the Immigration and Nationality Act. Fifth Circuit: Like the six other circuits to have addressed the issue, we see no problem with ICE civilly detaining someone who has been released pending a criminal trial.
  • Does a federal prisoner deserve compassionate release because there's been a COVID-19 outbreak at his prison and he's vulnerable because of his multiple sclerosis? Sixth Circuit: We can't say the district court was wrong to keep him locked up. (Judge Moore: But judges must take the virus's threat to prisoners seriously. Judge Readler: But Judge Moore's point is unreliable dicta. Judge Moore: But look who's talking.)
  • Man spends nearly three years in jail before being acquitted of murder. He sues Chicago police for attempting to frame him, and a jury awards him $4 mil plus another $50k in punitive damages. Any reason to revisit the verdict? Not a bit of it, says the Seventh Circuit.
  • In 2018, the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment forbids public unions from requiring nonmembers to pay fees for the benefit of being represented by the union in collective bargaining. Illinois union: But now our First Amendment rights are being violated, because we're required by state law to represent non-paying nonmembers—and we want nothing to do with them. Seventh Circuit: That's a pickle, but it's unripe. Case dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
  • Missouri requires schoolchildren to be immunized, but religious objectors can opt out by filing a form. Objectors: Even making us sign that form violates the Speech Clause and the Free Exercise Clause and the Equal Protection Clause. Eighth Circuit: No, no, and no.
  • Driving through Idaho in the middle of the night, a man supposedly changes lanes without first signaling for a full five seconds. He's pulled over—illegally, a court would later find. His allegation: After he passively refused to cooperate with police, they pulled him out of his car and threw him face-first on the pavement while holding his hands behind his back. Ninth Circuit: If true, no qualified immunity.
  • Montrose County, Colo. cops pursue man fleeing a traffic stop. Allegation: After they apprehend him, one of the cops punches the man, hits him in the face with a dog chain, and lets police dog Oxx attack him. Excessive force? Tenth Circuit: Sure looks like it. No qualified immunity.
  • "What began as a case about the meaning and application of the seldom-litigated Thirteenth Amendment—which, as relevant here, prohibits 'slavery [and] involuntary servitude'—presents itself to us as one about the relatively ho-hum issue of standing." So begins the Eleventh Circuit in a bankruptcy case (yes, a bankruptcy case). The bottom line: Stay tuned—the heart of the question might well return to the appellate court.
  • Miami taxi driver passes out and collides with a pole. Passerby calls 911, suggest the driver is intoxicated. The driver hops out of the cab and runs "like a zombie" up the entrance ramp to I-95. A cop arrives and tases the driver three times, the driver bites the cop's finger, and the cop shoots the driver dead. (His behavior seems to have been caused by a brain infection.) Besides a blurry video from a nearby business that doesn't depict much of anything, the only living eyewitness is the cop. Eleventh Circuit: Not excessive force.
  • While attending a concert, 17-year-old suffers a grand mal seizure. After a good Samaritan carries her to the lobby, she encounters several bad Samaritans wearing the uniforms of Rainbow City, Ala. police officers. Four or five of them restrain the still-seizing girl on the floor while another tases her multiple times in the chest. When the girl's mother arrives and tries to explain that her daughter is having a seizure, she is tackled, handcuffed, and tased until she urinates on herself (she then spends the night in jail). Eleventh Circuit: No need for a case on point, and no qualified immunity for anybody.
  • Man leaving an Atlanta-area strip club climbs into the passenger seat of a car. Occupying the back seat is a man suspected of stealing $600 in cash from another patron. When the car begins to drive away, a police officer dispatched to investigate the theft starts blasting, hitting the front-seat passenger twice. Video footage contradicts the officer's claim that the shooting was justified, and he resigns. The passenger sues the city for failure to properly train its officers in use of force. Eleventh Circuit: And his case can go forward.
  • And in en banc news, the Seventh Circuit will not reconsider its earlier holding that a 16-year sentence was too light for a would-be jihadist who planted fake bombs given to him by the FBI, then tried to solicit the murder of the agent who gave him the fake bombs, then tried to stab a fellow inmate to death for drawing a picture of the Prophet Muhammed. Three judges dissent, arguing that "hard cases make bad law."
  • And in further en banc news, the Tenth Circuit has vacated its earlier decision to grant en banc rehearing of a panel decision upholding the federal ban on "bump stocks." Five judges dissent from the un-bancing, issuing four opinions in which all of them join.

Are you looking to kick-start a career in public interest law? Are you motivated by working on cutting-edge constitutional cases, stopping government abuses, and championing individual rights? Good news, IJ is hiring for Law and Liberty Fellows to join in August/September 2022. This Fellowship is IJ's preferred path for recent graduates or post-clerkship candidates with less than two years of experience. The Law and Liberty Fellowship is based at our headquarters in Arlington, VA. We are currently looking for Fellow to join us in August 2022. The program runs through August 2024. Upon completion, Fellows are considered for permanent employment. Visit the Careers section of our website, www.ij.org/jobs, to learn more and apply. Application deadline extended through March 19.

NEXT: Second-Person Pronouns (or Pronoun Phrases)

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111 responses to “Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court Decisions

  1. Re the bump-stock en banc dismissal:

    It is entirely foreseeable — sad, but unavoidable — that when a majority of the Tenth Circuit concludes that they were mistaken to ever think this case was a big enough deal to deserve en banc review, there would be four different dissents from that non-precedential order. Their inability to pick one dissenting opinion to speak for them all shows how fundamentally unserious their position is in arguing, “Hey, this really IS important (even if we can’t seem to completely agree on why).”

    1. Chief Judge Tymkovich, as well as Judges Hartz, Holmes, Eid and Carson would proceed with en banc rehearing. Chief Judge Tymkovich, Judge Hartz, Judge Eid, and Judge Carson have written separate dissents from this order, and each has joined in the others’ dissents. Judge Holmes has also joined all dissents.

        1. The fact that each dissenting judge joined each dissenting opinion in full would suggest that in fact they all did “completely agree on why” the case should have been heard en banc.

          1. They all agreed that THIS is the correct legal reasoning. No it isn’t, THIS is. nuh-uh, THIS one is the proper understanding. No, it’s THIS argument that should have carried the day.

            when you’re too busy arguing amongst yourselves to confront the other side, you’re probably on the losing side.

            1. @ Noscitur: Your understanding of the word “completely” is obviously different from mine and, I’d suggest, the rest of the English-speaking public.

              @Mr. Pollock: Exactly.

              1. My understanding is that joining an opinion in full signals complete agreement with the opinion. What are some of the points of disagreement you perceive among the dissents?

  2. Short Circuit is my favorite regular VC contribution. Keep it up!

    1. I find this series enjoyable and useful.

      One common feature is that federal judges cannot read the high school English of the constitution.

    2. You know you can sign up to get it emailed to you every week directly from IJ?

  3. Am I the only one upset that Minneapolis has agreed to pay $27M to the estate of George Floyd when they only paid $20M to the estate of Justine Damond, a law-abiding citizen whom a Black MPD cop shot for absolutely no reason — and that only because of international pressure from the Australian government.

    The message here is simple: Violence Pays — and I think it is a very bad message to be giving.

    1. Is it foreseeable that such money may result in the overdose deaths of other family members? Aside from trial immunity, can a settlement be tortious?

      In yet another denial of reality by the lawyer profession, the death of a habitual criminal is a net positive to society. It sould be rewarded with a bounty. The biggest beneficiaries of such a death are those in his proximity, like the long suffering family . For example, if they were abused by the criminal, the value of stopping that abuse should be deducted from any settlement.

      1. I’m hesitant to reply to this, in multiple dimensions, but my *first* thought was “how much Meth will $27M buy — and how many people will OD (or otherwise die) as a result of that?”

        For the record, I spent nearly a decade employed in public housing and saw a *lot* of not-so-nice things. The worst was the 11-year-old boy who tried to get me romantically interested in his mother because he had judged (I’d argue correctly) that I wasn’t someone who was going to beat her up and beat him up, and every other one of her boyfriends had (I presume) done both.

        If I have to make a judgement call, it is that a lot of this stuff is really sad and should be viewed as such.

        George Floyd imploded — even without what happened, I doubt he’d be alive right now — I’ve seen too much and read too many files — 9 months after where he was at the time, he’d be dead — of something — by now.

        I’m not going to say more because I got OUT of public housing because I couldn’t deal with it anymore…

        1. NB: As to “where he was”, I mean psychologically and pharmaceutically, not geographically.

          Look at what started all of this — high as a kite, he tried to pass a $20 bill so phony that the ink (reportedly) was running.

          I don’t know where his friends and family were, but if they — and all of the woke White women — had paid as much attention to his wellbeing *before* he died as they did afterwards, he’s have been able to clean up his life and make something of himself.

          And that’s the problem I have with “predictive policing” as well as genuine “racial profiling” — it’s not when you are right but when you are WRONG and how do you fix that?

          1. All the social pathologies that you saw and had to escape? 100% the fault of the lawyer profession. Before the lawyer destroyed the family, black rates of pathology were slightly higher than those of whites, over hundreds of years of slavery, discrimination, genocidal maniac lawyer led and lawyer immunized KKK jihads, and oppression. Then the lawyer destroyed the family and what you saw happened.

            1. It was LBJ’s “Great Society” that destroyed the Black family, not lawyers.

              1. I’d like your take on the quality of the school systems. There’s a lot that needs fixing and I think fixing the under-performing education systems would go a long way. Just in case: I’m being serious here.

              2. “It was LBJ’s “Great Society” that destroyed the Black family, not lawyers.”

                Pretty sure being sold to different people was more harmful to black families, and that happened long before LBJ was making America great.

          2. Look at what started all of this — high as a kite, he tried to pass a $20 bill so phony that the ink (reportedly) was running.

            Look, Dr. Ed is making up facts again! You’re pathological.

            1. No, there’s a public complaint and even photos of the alleged fake bills. There’s plenty of news coverage, too, that can be found with a 10 second internet search.

              So why are you lying about this?

              1. I assume DMN was referring to the claims that the bill was “so phony the ink (reportedly) was running.” But if you’re aware of the reports Dr. Ed is referringo, I’d certainly encourage you to point us to them.

                1. Those stories can be found at http://www.ravinglunatic.net.

          3. “Look at what started all of this — high as a kite, he tried to pass a $20 bill so phony that the ink (reportedly) was running.”

            Those two, plus having lots of melanin in his skin tissues, makes THREE capital crimes!

      2. Nothing speaks better of lawyers in that a lawless fascist like Bonkers Behar hates them so much.

        1. Hi, Queenie. Again, you have trouble with 8th grade English, being a lawyer. I am the best friend and I love the lawyer. You are a denier. You do not argue in good faith.

          1. You’re a lunatic

        2. No, Queen Amalthea — Commies & Nazis don’t like each other — and *both* are bad news.

          1. David hates lawyers like all fascists do, the rule of law irks them. They want to be able to celebrate police killings sans pesky things like due process. Sociopathic lunacy is at the heart of fascism.

            “the death of a habitual criminal is a net positive to society. It sould be rewarded with a bounty”

            1. Fallacies noted in argument: Mind reading, name calling, and not actually addressing the comment.

              1. Your reading skills need to improve.

    2. Current value of life is $8.6 million. The value of some lives is negative, meaning everyone is better off without them. For example, a lawyer causes that much damage to the economy every year it lives.

      1. Show us on the doll where the bad lawyer touched you David.

        1. You just do not listen. Lawyers have been great to me. They must have enhanced my income by 30%.

          1. Lots of the abused take up for their abusers and claim to love them between fits of irrational diatribes against them. Where on the doll did the bad lawyer touch you, David?

            1. Queenie. You are a biological male. Stop asking to hear about my peepee. I am not gay. If I were, you are still a Democrat, and ugly.

              1. “Queenie. You are a biological male.”

                Between the two of you, that makes a total of one male.

          2. “They must have enhanced my income by 30%.”

            30% x $7.25/hr ?

    3. I wonder what Ashli Babbit’s settlement will be?

      1. *I* wonder if we will even get the name of the officer who shot her.

        1. I’m sure you do.

      2. The Conspirators have already declared that her shooting was 100% justified. She was trying to disrupt the government, for goodness’ sake! Government is the highest and noblest human activity, say lipstick libertarians like Prof. Somin.

        1. The only thing that makes government justified is that it has the consent of the governed, which the mob Babbit was part of was trying to thwart.

          1. I’ve never heard that standard for the use of deadly force before. It thought it had something to do with a reasonable belief of imminent great bodily harm, etc.

            1. It’s not a defense of the shooting, it’s a response to “She was trying to disrupt the government, for goodness’ sake! Government is the highest and noblest human activity, say lipstick libertarians like Prof. Somin.” It’s totally consistent for libertarians to be horrified at what the mob was trying to do that day.

              1. “It’s totally consistent for libertarians to be horrified at what the mob was trying to do that day.”

                Or just to roll their eyes and hope that the people who committed crimes are prosecuted and given just sentences if convicted.

                And that included the cops who committed crimes.

                Just like the protests going on in Portland and elsewhere on a larger scale.

                1. Libertarians: We Will Roll Our Eyes At Crime And Injustice.

                  1. Mostly peaceful crime and injustice.

                    1. Given the absece of arson on 6 Jan, I’d say it was completely peaceful crime and injustice.

                    2. Sure. They peacefully crapped on the floors and walls.

                  2. Its not an injustice she got shot then?

                    1. Nope. If you run into armed resistance while you’re committing a crime, well, shouldn’t have been commmitting a crime. Same rule if you’re trying to heist the day’s take at a drug house or overthrow a US election.

                2. “Or just to roll their eyes and hope that the people who committed crimes are prosecuted and given just sentences if convicted. ”

                  As long as none of the Senators from MY party votes to convict, yeah, we can hope that everybody who committed crimes gets prosecuted and given fair sentences IF CONVICTED.

          2. Or perhaps government does not have the consent of the governed, the governed were telling everybody who would listen, and you are deaf.

            1. “Or perhaps government does not have the consent of the governed”

              Sorry, laughable conspiracy theories don’t justify a small group trying to thwart the consent of the governed.

        2. The police just shot into the crowd of pro-democracy protesters. Welcome to Communist China.

          1. They were of course anti-democracy, seeking to have the VP throw out millions of votes allowing the state legislators just ‘appoint’ electors in a non-democratic way. But again, Behar thinks police shooting should be celebrated, so that’s what’s up this Trumpista mindset in general.

            1. Ah, you have fallen for the hoaxes. The 800,000 were there to try to ensure the vote was free and fair. An audit would have been all that was required. An overturn of the election was the opposite of what was desired.

              1. “The 800,000 were there to try to ensure the vote was free and fair.”

                Which is why they were chanting “hang Mike Pence!” over and over. Nothing makes sure an election is fairer than threatening the life of the person who (ceremoniously) does the counting.

          2. “The police just shot into the crowd of pro-democracy protesters. Welcome to Communist China.”

            Where they define people trying to overthrow an election as “pro-democracy protesters”? I think you’re misinformed.

      3. Has anyone made the case that her shooting was unjustified? Or does activism and concern about her shooting revolve entirely around asking variations of this question whenever someone like Georgy Floyd comes up in conversation?

        1. Is there any evidence that the shooting was justified?

          Any evidence at all that the shooting met the standard for the use of deadly force?

          1. Sure. There’s video of her, at the head of a mob of people, trying to break into a room to attack people being guarded by the cop/leo.

            1. Assuming facts not in evidence. Plenty of speculation that the shooter was not a LEO but an employee of a congressman. Same goes for the claim of ‘ to attack people’.

              Lets not forget she was shot in the neck. Every LEO training program I am aware of stresses to shoot to center body mass. Not to mention if you look at the vid there were two peeps dressed as LEOs with what appear to be M4s who moved out of the way to let her get to the window and stick her head through. Once she was shot the two guys dressed as LEOs (I have no proof they are LEOs but the MSM IDed them as such) quickly moved to the door and pulled her back and blocked the door.

              From what little one can see of the shooter in the vid he is wearing a suit an tie and not dressed as a LEO with a uniform and flack jacket.

              Wondering if you have anything to support the claim that a LEO shot her.

              1. All I have is news coverage, obviously. E.g.:

                https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/no-charges-recommended-officer-who-shot-ashli-babbitt-during-capitol-n1256522

                Investigators have determined the Capitol Police officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt during the U.S. Capitol riot should not be charged with any crimes, a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation told NBC News.

              2. You can’t even pick which nutty conspiracy theory you want to go with. That’s why it looks like you’re just desperately clutching at straws.

              3. “Wondering if you have anything to support the claim that a LEO shot her.”

                The bullet-sized hole in her body is pretty strong evidence.

          2. So, it’s just a content-free reflexive response to ‘George Floyd.’

      4. “I wonder what Ashli Babbit’s settlement will be?”

        the sentence has already been carried out.

    4. You’re buying two murders for a total of $47 million rather than actually doing something about the way police go around murdering people. But you don’t seem to be mad at the murdercops?

    5. Am I the only one upset that Minneapolis has agreed to pay $27M to the estate of George Floyd when they only paid $20M to the estate of Justine Damond, a law-abiding citizen whom a Black MPD cop shot for absolutely no reason — and that only because of international pressure from the Australian government.

      No, you are not the only racist who sees a black person’s family being compensated for a murder and instead of thinking, “Good,” thinks “what about this white woman?”

    6. “The message here is simple: Violence Pays”

      The message here is simpler: “gee, we wish our cops would stop killing people.”

  4. An off-duty Garland, Tex. police officer….. How about … Off Duty police are no different than everyone else? Off Duty means Off Duty.

    11th circuit seems to be correct 3 for 3. This is surprising given they all involve QI.

    1. Yes, but can’t *anyone* make a “citizens arrest” or is MA law (where you can also bring private criminal complaints) different from the rest of the country?

      I’m thinking of a specific incident here — some perp was raping a girl on a UM lawn and two other guys pulled him off her and “detained” him until the police could arrive. (I’m guessing that one of the other bystanders called them.) These two guys weren’t cops — memory is that they were engineering graduate students.

      Now if they’d seriously injured the perp, which they didn’t, it could have gotten interesting because they also weren’t US citizens, but then I have to ask about the wisdom of what the off-duty officer did. Even if using your door as a wing plow is an accepted police tactic (and I somehow think it isn’t), doing something like this is going to screw up the alignment of the door (and likely the car) not to mention putting a big dent in the door. That’s four figures of damage that he isn’t going to get reimbursed for…

      1. On use of car door to end a pursuit. There was a Washington state case on this in 2018, Sluman v Washington that found the state patrol officer liable for the injury caused by door checking a motorcyclist.

      2. Yes, but can’t *anyone* make a “citizens arrest” or is MA law (where you can also bring private criminal complaints) different from the rest of the country?

        I think MA law is different. While I support what the two guys did to detain him, in most situations and the rest of the country that could also be described as kidnapping and battery. It’s one of those screwy things that keep people from helping.

        …but then I have to ask about the wisdom of what the off-duty officer did.

        The main reason I have against the tactic is the results & serious injury. Hitting a pedestrian with a car is never good for the pedestrian and, even independent of the door as a wing plow. Is there any accepted police tactic for hitting a suspect with a car? Well, if the suspect was on a shooting spree I’d accept it but that’s a separate matter.

      3. “Yes, but can’t *anyone* make a ‘citizens arrest'”

        Yes, but no sovereign immunity for torts if you do it wrong. On-duty cops are generally not permitted to run people over with their service vehicles, and face scrutiny for breaking bones while arresting people, so no “boo-hoos” for the *anyone* who wants to arrest a bad guy badly enough to intervene in a police pursuit.
        Short version: you better be damn sure the “criminal” you’re busting really is a criminal, because if they aren’t, YOU are.

    2. An off-duty Garland, Tex. police officer….. How about … Off Duty police are no different than everyone else? Off Duty means Off Duty.

      Most police departments require “off duty” officers to maintain a state or readiness and be prepared to intervene and assist in emergency situations. Note that this fact helped the plaintiff, since he would have automatically lost the lawsuit under your rule.

      1. I think under my rule the plaintiff would have been able to sue for assault and battery with a deadly weapon (the car). The assailant would not have the QI defense as a simple citizen and there would have been no need for a QI lawsuit.

        If the departments require them to maintain readiness to assist, then that would make things different. It would also be the first time I’ve ever heard of that so I’d like confirmation.

        1. I expect it varies by department. I have a friend whose department did require them to be armed and ready to respond even when off duty. The policy language was something like ‘whenever practical’, i.e. you didn’t have to be armed while in the pool or whatever, but were expected to be ready otherwise. It might vary by department size, inter alia – this was a fairly small agency, so if things went sideways they might need off duty folks in a hurry.

          1. “I expect it varies by department. I have a friend whose department did require them to be armed and ready to respond even when off duty.”

            Do you have any friends with departments that have a policy of requiring off-duty officers remain with their fueled car in case they need to run over a fleeing suspect?

  5. Driving through Idaho in the middle of the night, a man supposedly changes lanes without first signaling for a full five seconds.

    The law this guy allegedly broke- in IDAHO, where there’s nobody on the roads!- is a classic example of the sort of thing legislators pass to make sure that anyone the cops don’t like can be pulled over.

    1. The song of the Whren, to the beat of the Devenpeck.

      1. I want to upvote this.

    2. As opposed to Massachusetts, where people routinely make a left turn with the right blinker on. If they even use them.

      Yes, we presume adult judgement on the part of the police — which we often don’t get — but Idaho doesn’t want to become Massachusetts. I’m told that some Midwestern states will ticket a truck driver who touches the yellow line three times inside a mile, even without oncoming traffic, while in Massachusetts….

      What is really needed is strong middle management in police departments — able & willing to ask the young officers “what the f*** do you boys think you were doing?”

      1. “what the f*** do you boys think you were doing?”

        Revenue enhancement, Sarge.

      2. “. I’m told that some Midwestern states will ticket a truck driver who touches the yellow line three times inside a mile, even without oncoming traffic, while in Massachusetts”

        Why are midwestern states ticketing drivers for things that happened while they were in Massachusetts?

    3. “The law this guy allegedly broke- in IDAHO, where there’s nobody on the roads!”

      Your experience driving in Idaho differs from mine.

  6. Reading the newspaper story about the Pasco County sheriff I was amused by this blurb.

    “Robert A. Jones, III, whose teenage son was targeted, said when he stopped complying with constant demands from deputies to search his home, he was arrested on charges of marijuana possession and child neglect. Both charges were dropped.

    Jones was also issued several code enforcement citations and not told about them, he said. He was then arrested for failing to appear in court. His arrest record dashed his dream of going to law school, he said.”

    While I know it is getting more common to be admitted to law school in middle age something about this just seems wrong.

    1. Not really — I remember what my prelaw advisor told me about a former student of his — the kid had a *serious* criminal record, but his strongest letter of reference was written by the County Sheriff who said that the individual had not only “done his time” but also cleaned up his act and would make a good lawyer, which he had and did.

      In a similar situation, default judgments on quasi-criminal code citations would impeach his claim that he had cleaned up his act. As to admittance to a law school — I’m not on an admittance committee but how do you prove that this *didn’t* cost him an admission?

      The other thing on this “predictive policing” bullshyte is that it often includes a mental health tag — they often label people as “crazy & dangerous” and THAT label WOULD prevent him from getting into law school. No one is going to admit “the next Virginia Tech shooter…”

      1. “I’ve seen too much and read too many files — 9 months after where he was at the time, he’d be dead — of something — by now.”

        “The other thing on this “predictive policing” bullshyte”

        About twenty minutes apart. Dr. of Word Diarrhea I guess.

        1. Both of those involve predictions about the future. OMG, you’re right! They’re totally the same thing!

          1. And in one he decries it as bullshit and in the other, minutes apart, does it himself. Stick to mulching and other landscape level stuff my friend.

            1. Were you, for some reason, expecting, self-consistent, rational arguments and assertions from Dr. Id?

        2. Does the good Queen understand the difference between having a realistic perspective and according each individual due process?

          Apparently not — you are as bad as DaivdBehar…

          Let me put it in simple terms for you: The fact that Floyd was in the process of killing himself doesn’t mean that the MPD should have killed him…

          1. It’s like talking to a windfan.

            1. There is a difference between a person engaging in self destructive behavior and the state deliberately attempting “to make life miserable” for an individual.

              At least outside the ideological bubble of leftist lunacy there is a difference. (Hint: one involves state action, one doesn’t…)

              1. So your self-destructive choices are entirely your own?

            2. “It’s like talking to a windfan.”

              The windfan is more capable of reasoned analysis.

      2. If being “crazy and dangerous” could keep people out of graduate schools, how come you call yourself “Dr.” Ed?

      3. ” I’m not on an admittance committee but how do you prove that this *didn’t* cost him an admission?”

        If he was admitted.

  7. “He sues Chicago police for attempting to frame him”

    Sounds to me like he sued Chicago police for succeeding at framing him. Why “attempting”? Because it fell apart after 30 years?

    1. Yeah, agreed, when you get away with something for decades it’s no longer just ‘attempted’ imo.

      1. You categorically don’t succeed at things you didn’t attempt.

    2. “Man spends nearly three years in jail before being acquitted of murder. He sues Chicago police for attempting to frame him, and a jury awards him $4 mil plus another $50k in punitive damages.”

    3. 30 years?

      1. I was interrupted at the computer, and didn’t look back. Still sounds like they succeeded in framing him.

        1. “Still sounds like they succeeded in framing him.”

          Was it the word “acquitted” that sounded that way to you?

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