On the plaintiff’s version of the facts
Most police-related qualified immunity cases, where the court opinion is released anyway, involve the grant or denial of summary judgement in favor of the police officers based on qualified immunity. Because of this procedural posture, this means that the plaintiff’s version of facts is, provisionally and for purposes of deciding the summary judgement motion, taken as true. The police officers’ version(s) of the facts are not considered.
Why are you telling me this? When this blog summarily recites the facts of the case, it will be the version of the facts used by the court in making its decision. This may be a version of the facts which has been stipulated by both sides, or it may be a version of facts as determined by a full trial, but, in many cases it will be the plaintiff’s version of the facts as used for qi-summary-judgement purposes. I do not plan on explaining this in each individual post where a court opinion is discussed. Readers are advised to read the full court case if they want to know whether the “facts” of the case are just the plaintiff’s version, or whether these “facts” have been established more rigorously.