Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

Alabama justice, Judge Albritton style

with one comment

A cab diver was the victim of an armed robbery.  The cab driver knew the number of the cell phone that was used to summon him to the robbery (unless the number was spoofed) and got a look at the man who robbed him.  Auburn Alabama Police Officer George Creighton investigated the case and “decided that [Plaintiff] was the prime suspect” because Plaintiff “had once been associated with the . . . address” of the cell phone owner. Judge Albritton’s opinion craftily avoids mention of what that association with the address was exactly.

Officer Creighton proceeds to show a bunch of photos, including Plaintiff’s, to the cab driver, and the cab driver allegedly chooses Plaintiff’s photo. It is important to note that Officer Creighton himself showed the photos to the cab driver, rather than delegating someone who was not familiar with the case. Based on this photo identification, Officer Creighton got a warrant and had a Georgia State Police Officer arrest Plaintiff in Georgia at his place of work.

After some period in jail in Alabama (Judge Albritton neglects to tell us how long), it was discovered that Plaintiff had an alibi — specifically, a surveillance video of him grocery shopping in a supermarket in Georgia at the time of the robbery of the cab driver. Charges dismissed and Plaintiff sues Officer Creighton. Judge Albritton dismisses Plaintiff’s case on summary judgement, stating that the cab driver identified Plaintiff, so everything was okay under the Constitution.

Case:  [Plaintiff] v. City of Auburn, Dist. Court, MD Alabama 2015

Criticism:  Officer Creighton should not have administered the photo line-up himself, and Judge Albritton should have denied sj on that basis. Judge Albritton’s opinion also should have revealed what the mysterious association with the address was.

Photo Gallery:

Here is a photo of Judge Albritton:


Here is a photo of Plaintiff:


Written by Burgers Allday

December 11, 2015 at 5:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. […] I blogged this case when the district court rendered its decision:  Link […]

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