police4aqi

Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

Judge Matthew W. Brann enthusiastically supports seventeen electroshocks to the suspect

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Case:  Kircher v. PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE DEPARTMENT, Dist. Court, MD Pennsylvania 2016

Here is a table, copied from the opinion, of the seventeen Taser strikes administered by the police to the suspect:

                                                  Time Between          Total Time
  No.    Time       Officer (#)     Duration         Discharges            Elapsed

  1     3:37:11   Farabaugh (1)       0:05                -                   0:05
  2     3:37:20   Farabaugh (2)       0:05               0:04                 0:14
  3     3:39:24   Farabaugh (3)       0:04               1:59                 2:17
  4     3:40:18      Miller (1)       0:05               0:50                 3:12
  5     3:40:45      Miller (2)       0:05               0:22                 3:39
  6     3:40:54      Miller (3)       0:05               0:04                 3:48
  7     3:42:30   Farabaugh (4)       0:05               1:31                 5:24
  8     3:42:39   Farabaugh (5)       0:05               0:04                 5:33
  9     3:42:49   Farabaugh (6)       0:05               0:05                 5:43
  10    3:43:00  Farabaugh (7)        0:05               0:06                 5:54
  11    3:43:21     Miller (4)        0:02               0:16                 6:12
  12    3:43:27     Miller (5)        0:05               0:04                 6:21
  13    3:43:37     Miller (6)        0:07*              0:05                 6:30
  14    3:43:41     Miller (7)        0:03               0:00                 6:33
  15    3:43:53     Miller (8)        0:10               0:09                 6:52
  16    3:45:01     Miller (9)        0:02               0:58                 7:52
  17    3:45:20    Miller (10)        0:05               0:17                 8:14

 

Decision:  Not only did Judge Brann give qi — he held that the officers didn’t need qi because their seventeen Taser strikes were reasonable under 4A as a matter of law.

Criticism:  Barbaric opinion.  Judicial approval of executive behavior that society should not countenance.  Not the America I was raised to believe that I would be living in.

Another criticism:  I think the biggest problem here is all the strikes with four or five seconds between them.  I think these short intervals between Taser strikes cast serious doubt on the police officers testimony that the suspect was continuing to resist, which, in turn, casts serious doubt as to whether the police officer conduct was as reasonable as Judge Brann would have it.

Faint praise:  Good for Judge Brann for including the interesting, and I think relevant, table of Taser strikes in his opinion.  I think many judges would not have done so.

Written by Burgers Allday

August 24, 2016 at 9:19 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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