Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

Pet dog “Seven” did not die in vain — 2006 police shooting of fenced in dog

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Case: Harris v. O’HARE, Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit 2014

Police had a report of stolen guns. Based on an (non-confidential) informant’s tip, they entered fenced in property and an officer ended up killing a pet dog in front of a child with shots from his gun. No stolen guns were found. Police argued that “exigent circumstances” justified their entry into the fenced in area. Jury agreed, but the appellate court has now disagreed, holding that there were no exigent circumstances because the possibility of stolen guns was not urgent enough to excuse the warrant requirement on exigent circumstances grounds. I recommend reading the entire case as it is chock full of good quotes and good legal analysis. In my book, Seven died a hero by making it marginally less likely that police officers will come into fenced in yards on relatively weak cause in the future.

UPDATE(S): (i) this opinion has been amended in November or December 2014; and (ii) link to case, above, no longer works (perhaps because the opinion was amended(?)).

Written by Burgers Allday

November 5, 2014 at 8:09 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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