Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

Clovis, NM Detective Sean Martinez arrests the wrong guy

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What happened: A store was robbed of some cash. A suspect, who matched some of the characteristics of the robber, was identified based on info provided by eyewitnesses and by a grainy surveillance video. Detective Sean Martinez applied for and obtained an arrest warrant and then arrested the suspect. As it turns out, suspect was the wrong guy and the authorities eventually let him go. The arrested guy sued and is the Plaintiff in this section 1983 case.

Decision: No qi for Detective Martinez. More specifically, the two eyewitnesses variously described the perp as “about 6 feet 4 inches,” and “tall.” Plaintiff was 5 foot 7 inches and Detective Martinez knew this when he applied for the arrest warrant, but failed to provide this exculpatory evidence in his warrant application papers. Court also seemed unimpressed by identifications made based on a grainy video.

Written by Burgers Allday

August 14, 2012 at 4:45 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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