Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

Policeman denied qi for ignoring exculpatory evidence when making an arrest

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What happened:  Plaintiff had a valid mass transit pass, and entered the Miami mass transit system through the handicapped gate, due to a malfunctioning card and/or card reader, as instructed by the transit authority.  The policeman saw the entry and forcibly detained plaintiff.  Plaintiff showed the pass but did not explain the whole situation regarding the pass (the opinion does not say whether plaintiff was given a meaningful opportunity to explain).  However, a transit security guard told the policeman that it was a valid pass.  The policeman arrested plaintiff anyway.  Plaintiff sued for false arrest in violation of 4A.

Decision:  No qi for the policeman because he ignored the exculpatory evidence that came in the form of the transit employee’s statement that the pass was valid.

Comment:  Yay!  Ignoring exculpatory is a common tactic that courts seem too often to wink at.

Written by Burgers Allday

June 12, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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