police4aqi

Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

Question about an excessive force case

leave a comment »

Case: MONTOYA v. SHELDON, No. CIV 10-0360 JB/WDS (D. New Mexico, October 31, 2012)

Background: Plaintiffs in an excessive force case against policeman defendants want to introduce evidence that the defendant policemen did not follow the police department’s operating procedures and policies in their use of force. The court holds that this evidence is irrelevant for establishing a Constitutional violation because departments might set their operating procedures to establish a standard more strict than what the Constitution requires. So far, so good. However, the court goes on to state that the defendant policemen can introduce evidence that they followed department policies and procedures.

Questions: Why is the evidence relevant if the defendant policemen want to introduce it? If a department can set its procedures to set a higher-than-Constitutional standard, then can’t the department just as easily set its procedures to define a lower-than-Constitutional standard, thus making the evidence irrelevant for reasons similar the reasons for its irrelevance when the section 1983 plaintiff attempts to introduce that same evidence? Why the asymmetry here?

Written by Burgers Allday

November 9, 2012 at 7:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: