Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

More on grand juries and civil liability claims against police

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Since the controversial use of grand juries in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner police-involved-homicides last year, I have become more interested in the interaction between grand jury proceedings and later civil rights claims against the police.

Case: OGBONNAYA v. City of Mesa, Dist. Court, D. Arizona 2015

Comment: In reference to the Darren Wilson grand juries, some law enforcement supporters claimed that criminal suspects are always allowed to testify at their grand jury proceedings if they want to. I pretty much knew that that is not true in all jurisdictions, and I suspect it is not true in most jurisdictions. This case shows that suspects are not always allowed to testify at their grand jury proceedings. Plaintiff wanted to testify before his grand jury, but was refused. Plaintiff was indicted by the grand jury and became a criminal defendant, who was subsequently found not guilty on all counts after a criminal trial and then sued police for an overly aggressive criminal investigation against him. Thankfully, the court did not let the police use the grand jury indictment as irrebuttable evidence that probable cause existed for plaintiff’s arrest.

Written by Burgers Allday

January 29, 2015 at 8:48 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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