police4aqi

Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

“It is the nature of a democratic society that all of us, especially the police, take some risks in the interest of preserving freedom.”

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Larson v. Dupnik, Dist. Court, D. Arizona 2015

Good quote:

Since Lambert in 2006, it has been clear that the emergency exception for officer safety does not operate to protect law enforcement officers from all risk; the Fourth Amendment does not require law enforcement officers to take unreasonable risks. Lambert, 98 F.3d at 1186-87. In Lambert the court explained why handcuffing or pointing a weapon at a suspect does not automatically convert an investigatory stop into an arrest with a balance being struck between guarding against violence and guarding the Fourth Amendment, “specifically the freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.” Id. at 1187. By the nature of their job, law enforcement officers agree to subject themselves to some physical jeopardy “that is inherent in the job of a law enforcement officer.” Id. But, “it is the nature of a democratic society that all of us, especially the police, take some risks in the interest of preserving freedom.” Id. Therefore, balanced against the need for officer safety, is the right of all people to be free from the terrifying and humiliating experience of being pulled from their cars [or homes] at gunpoint, handcuffed, or made to lie face down on the pavement when insufficient reason for such intrusive police conduct exists.” Id.

The Court finds that clearly established law gave Defendants fair warning that the emergency exception to the Fourth Amendment right to be free from an unreasonable seizure and search is narrow and only applies when there are reasonable grounds to believe an emergency exists, i.e., that there is an imminent threat of violence to officers or others. Clearly established law gave Defendants fair warning to not rely on a lack of evidence or on unreliable evidence as reasonable grounds to believe an emergency exists in the first place, and that when reasonable grounds do not exist to believe there is an imminent threat of violence to officers or others, police are required to conduct further inquiry. Defendants had fair notice that without reasonable grounds to believe an emergency existed, a warrantless search and seizure is presumptively unreasonable and a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Written by Burgers Allday

September 15, 2015 at 4:42 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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