Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

Policeman enters home to find broken taillight driver

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Case: MASCORRO v. BILLINGS (10th Cir., Aug. 31, 2011)

What happened: A 17 year old driver had a broken taillight. Policeman tried to pull him over, but he parked and ran into his house and locked himself in the bathroom. The policeman was angry about this and decided to come in to get the driver and arrest him. The policeman ended up pepperspraying a some of the driver’s family, pointing his gun at them and eventually knocking down the bathroom door to get to the driver, whom he arrested. He also arrested family members for obstruction and/or assault on a police officer.

Decision: Police may be liable here. The taillight offense was not a “serious” offense under the standards of Welsh. Therefore, the policeman needed an arrest warrant to go into the house.

Written by Burgers Allday

September 2, 2011 at 2:30 am

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