Police Sicced a Dog on a Surrendering Man. Will the Supreme Court Review the Doctrine

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by Disir, Apr 14, 2019 at 7:45 PM.

  1. Disir
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    Disir Gold Member

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    When two Nashville police officers responded to a home burglary report in 2014, they found Alexander Baxter hiding in a basement. Baxter put his hands in the air. Nevertheless, the police unleashed a K-9 unit, which bit Baxter under his armpit.

    Baxter sued the officers for excessive force, but in 2018 the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that, whether or not Baxter’s rights were violated, the officers were immune from his lawsuit. It wasn’t clearly established, the court said, that using a police dog to apprehend him while his hands were raised was unconstitutional.

    The decision hinged on a notorious doctrine, known as “qualified immunity,” that protects police from lawsuits when reasonable officers wouldn’t know they were committing a constitutional violation. Now the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is asking the Supreme Court to reconsider not just Baxter’s case but the entire doctrine of qualified immunity, which has faced a growing bipartisan chorus of criticism.

    The ACLU today filed a petition for a writ of certiorari asking the Supreme Court to not only review Baxter’s case but revisit the current standard for qualified immunity. “The costs of qualified immunity to the rule of law are real and significant,” the ACLU writes. “Because qualified immunity relies centrally on the question of when the unlawfulness of particular conduct has been ‘clearly established’—an inquiry for which a consistent standard has eluded federal courts for a generation—the jurisprudence of qualified immunity is beset with inconsistency.”

    As The New Republic recently noted, qualified immunity has recently come under criticism from both originalist and liberal judges. On the Supreme Court itself, arch-conservative Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in 2017 that qualified immunity should be revisited in an appropriate case, and while liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor has bemoaned its effects on lawsuits over police shootings.
    Police Sicced a Dog on a Surrendering Man. Will the Supreme Court Review the Doctrine That Gave Them Immunity?

    This will be interesting to watch.
     
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  2. Dekster
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    Dekster Gold Member

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    If they take it, they will probably find a way to skirt the big issue and remand the case. Maybe draw some nebular comparison to the drug sniffing dog case from a few years back.

    I am not a fan of qualified immunity though.
     
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  3. caddo kid
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    caddo kid Gold Member

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    that is a shame that police are allowed to send canines after suspects that are clearly cooperating, as in the Nashville case.

    Here in Saint Paul the city paid out nearly $2 million in settlement for this canine attack on a suspect; a suspect that had no connection to any crime.

     
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  4. Marion Morrison
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    Marion Morrison Diamond Member

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    I told the cops straight up: Here I am, if that dog tries to bite me, I will kill it. I'll cooperate, don't make me kill the dog. I had the advantage of being in almost chest-high water. They put him up. On me..
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 7:26 AM
  5. Anathema
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    Anathema Crotchety Olde Man

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    Definitely. The officers should be shooting these waste of flesh and oxygen criminals in the head instead of putting the dog in danger.
     
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  6. Moonglow
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    Moonglow Diamond Member

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    Another victory for the American version of the Gestapo...
     
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  7. Anathema
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    Anathema Crotchety Olde Man

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    If this is what it takes to bring America back to decency, so be it.
     
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  8. Jarlaxle
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    Jarlaxle Gold Member

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    You're lucky they didn't just start shooting.
     
  9. Moonglow
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    Moonglow Diamond Member

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    says the man who loves tyranny.
     
  10. Anathema
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    Anathema Crotchety Olde Man

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    If the cast majority of human beings weren’t immoral wastes of flesh and oxygen then we wouldn’t need an Authoritarian Society to keep people in line.
     

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