Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

Chillicothe Trooper Throckmorton mistakenly thinks sober driver is drunk

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Case: GREEN v. THROCKMORTON, 10-4487 (6th Cir. 6-13-2012)

What happened: A policeman pulled over a driver for a couple of very minor traffic violations. He said that her appearance and behavior made him reasonably suspect the driver was drunk. He further believed that the driver failed the field tests he administered. So he arrested her for impaired driving and she spent two days in jail. The chemical tests came back clean for drugs and alcohol and the impaired driving charges were dropped.

Decision: The court decided that Trooper Throckmorton may not have had reasonable suspicion (to administer the field tests) and may not have had probable cause (to then proceed to arrest). No qualified immunity.

Comment: The court seemed to believe that the video contradicted Trooper Throckmorton in some respects, and decided that this hurt his credibility with respect to other circumstances, regarding the suspected intoxication, which could not be confirmed or denied by watching his dashcam video.

Written by Burgers Allday

July 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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