Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

No qi for policemen who planned and executed fatal Gonzalo Guizan raid

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Case: GUIZAN v. TOWN OF EASTON (D.Conn. 8-29-2012)

What happened: This is a somewhat notorious case that I have been following (via Mr. Radley Balko’s “Adge” blog) since Mr. Guizan was killed during an extremely violent police entry into a residence over a small amount of illegal drugs. There is a somewhat enlightening YouTube video of a distant, exterior recording of the raid. Basically, police flashbangs caused a lot of confusion, and, in the confusion, the police shot Mr. Guizan a lot of times and killed him.

Decision: No qi for police on many, probably most of the claims. For example, no qi for the policeman who decided that a SWAT type raid was the way to go, and no qi for the policeman who decided that a bunch of flashbangs were a good idea. Of course, no qi for the policeman (Officer Sweeney) who actually killed Guizan.

Comment: This opinion, linked above, is worth reading in its entirety, even if you don’t usually read legal opinions (I know they can be dry and boring). This is an important case and it looks like a case where the court opinion (this new one and any opinion on the probable appeal), might just work to make police somewhat more careful and somewhat less violent in the future.

Written by Burgers Allday

September 1, 2012 at 8:18 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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