Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

Jailhouse video vindicates the police

I like to think that this blog covers more police4aqi cases (that is, Fourth Amendment / qualified immunity cases involving law enforcement officers) than any other.  Still, I don’t cover them all.  I don’t even cover most.  I am somewhat selective.

One way that this selectivity shows up is that I tend not to cover cases where somebody was acting crazy and got shot by police. I generally stay away from the cases regardless of whether the police shooting seems understandable, or whether it seems triggerhappy. Also tend away from “Taser” cases. Generally, I am more interested in police honesty / dishonesty issues than I am in police brutality / justified force issues.

Another way this selectivity shows up is that I tend away from cases where the police would seem to deserve to win. This is a type of story selection bias that I am less comfortable with in myself. I mean, usually when somebody (or, more likely, their contingency counsel) is sufficiently motivated to bring civil suit (over something short of a police shooting), then police behavior is usually questionable at best. However, there are cases where the opinion persuades me that the police acted reasonably and the plaintiff richly deserves to go away empty-handed. These cases may not be as fun to blog, but they are instructive and should definitely be in the mix here for balance, if nothing else.

In that spirit, here are a couple recent cases where (probably) drunk people who had acted foolishly around the popo lost, and apparently deserved to lose, their respective civil suits:

CASTLE v. HOWARD, Civil Action No. 5:11-CV-221-KSF (August 31, 2012) (Still photographs show wife trying to get husband to stop yelling at the policeman at an especially aggro Little League game).

LEE v. CITY OF NORWALK, Case No. 3:11 CV 897 (August 30, 2012). (Jailhouse video vindicates police).

Written by Burgers Allday

September 6, 2012 at 4:51 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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