Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

Wait for safe, well-lighted place to pull over for police car — get arrested for doing that

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Case: KLEINSCHNITZ v. Phares, Dist. Court, MD Alabama 2013

What happened: Plaintiff alleges that he waited for a safe, well-lighted to pull over for (what appeared to be and turned out to be) a police car. Plaintiff also called 911 and had the dispatcher tell the police car that plaintiff was pulling in to a gas station out of safety concerns. Nevertheless, Dothan, Alabama Officer William Phares did a felony stop (these are not pleasant) in the gas station parking lot and then arrested plaintiff for obstruction. Plaintiff was acquitted of the criminal charge and then sued.

Decision: No qi for Officer Phares.

Comment: Good decision! Assuming plaintiff speaks the truth here, there is no excuse for what Officer Phares did.

Fun cite: Coughlin, 320 So. 2d at 742 (stating the failure to comply statute “was not intended to, does not, and cannot give police officers unbridled power to arrest for refusal to obey any order they may choose to direct at a citizen”)

Written by Burgers Allday

November 2, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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