(Police) Use of Force Update

Via the Volokh Conspiracy, we find that the Ninth Circuit continues to get reversed and this time it's on a Use of Force issue, albeit in the realm of police work.

For Brosseau v. Haugen,

According to the Court, the law separating excessive force from allowable force in this type of context is so fact-specific, and the cases so sparse, that the officer's conduct did not violate “clearly established law” as is required to strip an officer of qualified immunity.

For Devenpeck v. Alford,

In Devenpeck, the Court rejected a Ninth Circuit doctrine that required judicial review of probable cause for an arrest to consider only evidence known to the officer for offenses “closely related” to the offense that the officer named when he made the arrest. If an officer had evidence that the target had violated Crime A and unrelated Crime B, but when he made the arrest informed the suspect that he was being arrested for Crime A, the legality of the arrest could not be judged by considering the evidence that the officer had for Crime B. In a unanimous opinion by Justice Scalia, the Court did away with this doctrine on the ground that it was based too much on the subjective intent of the officer and had perverse consequences.

Since Justice Scalia did the writing, we'll see if he is as bad as Senator Reid seems to think, although most think of Reid as going after Justice Thomas.

Josh Poulson

Posted Wednesday, Dec 15 2004 04:24 PM

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Lethal Force Redefined by Ninth Circuit

Although the Ninth Circuit seems to get reversed a lot, they have another lethal force decision. This one appears to muck with the legal definition. In Smith v. City of Hemet they look at a police excessive use of force... [Read more]

Josh's Weblog

Linked Wednesday, Feb 2 2005 06:28 PM

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