informationliberation
The news you're not supposed to know...




An Introduction to Austrian Economics: Understand Economics, Understand Everything
The Century of the Self: The Untold History of Controlling the Masses Through the Manipulation of Unconscious Desires
The Disappearing Male: From Virility to Sterility

The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off
Operation Gladio: The Hidden History of U.S. Sponsored False Flag Terrorism in EuropeThe New American Century: The Untold History of The Project for the New American Century
(more)
Article posted Aug 28 2014, 12:01 PM Category: Tyranny/Police State Source: Techdirt Print

The Judicial System's Blessing Of Police Use Of Excessive Force Makes It Nearly Impossible To Hold Bad Cops Accountable

by Tim Cushing

It's not just the thin blue line insulating bad cops from accountability, it's the entire judicial system. From lower-level judges treating statements from police with amazing amounts of credulity even in the face of past misconduct or contradictory recordings to the nation's top court, the judiciary branch, giving police officers built-in defenses that far exceed those available to the public.

An op-ed by Edwin Chemerinsky (lawyer and Dean of Law at the University of California, Irvine) notes that recent decisions by the Supreme Court have put even more distance between bad cops and accountability. Earlier this year, the nation's top court essentially gave police officers permission to open fire on anyone deemed a threat and not stop firing until they determined the threat to be neutralized.

A suspect that led police on a 100-mph chase met his end when police officers fired 15 bullets in his vehicle, killing him and his passenger. Although other methods may have ended this chase without resulting in the suspect's death, the Supreme Court found nothing about this use of force was "excessive."
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and ruled unanimously in favor of the police. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said that the driver’s conduct posed a “grave public safety risk” and that the police were justified in shooting at the car to stop it. The court said it “stands to reason that, if police officers are justified in firing at a suspect in order to end a severe threat to public safety, the officers need not stop shooting until the threat has ended.”
While the police have access to a wide variety of tactics and less-lethal weapons when dealing with "public safety risks," there's really no need for them to use anything but their guns. (Which they do… with gusto.) The Supreme Court's decision turns any perceived threats to "public safety" (practically speaking, "officer safety") into blank checks for excessive force.

Federal courts aren't much better than the Supreme Court when it comes to prosecuting excessive force. Amanda Taub at Vox, writing about the ongoing investigation into Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson's killing of unarmed resident Mike Brown, notes that while officers can find themselves facing both local and federal charges, Officer Wilson's chances of walking away from this situation intact are still very high.
Simple murder is not a federal offense, but it is a federal crime for a police officer to deprive someone of his rights under the Constitution. If a victim dies, the perpetrator can be sentenced to life in prison or even the death penalty. That means the DOJ could prosecute Wilson under federal law for violating Brown's civil rights, if the evidence supports that charge.

Federal civil rights prosecutions are rare, though, and convictions are even rarer. A study from Syracuse University's TRAC program found that between 1986 and 2003, fewer than 2 percent of civil rights matters referred to the DOJ were ever prosecuted. Out of 43,331 referrals, 690 were actually prosecuted — and of those, 423 resulted in a conviction.
If pursuing criminal charges seems futile, Wilson could still face a civil lawsuit, with only a slightly greater chance of success. This, too, can be traced back to the Supreme Court.
When there is not absolute immunity, police officers are still protected by “qualified immunity” when sued for monetary damages. The Supreme Court, in an opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia in 2011, ruled that a government officer can be held liable only if “every reasonable official” would have known that his conduct was unlawful. For example, the officer who shot Michael Brown can be held liable only if every reasonable officer would have known that the shooting constituted the use of excessive force and was not self-defense.
We already know the Ferguson Police Dept. believes Wilson's actions to be defensible. Statements released by the department claim that Mike Brown got into an altercation with Officer Wilson and tried to grab his gun. It has also claimed that Officer Wilson suffered injuries from Wilson's attack (although it has released no photos or medical information to back up these claims). The courts have repeatedly shown that officers claiming to fear for their safety are fully justified in deploying deadly force. In the absence of any start-to-finish recordings of the incident, it becomes the police department's word against the words of Mike Brown's legal representatives. And the department will have some form of immunity as well as "officer safety" to deploy in its defense.

With all of this in play, it seems unlikely that there will be a satisfactory resolution to the Ferguson situation. And, despite all appearances otherwise, Officer Wilson may truly be justified in his shooting of Mike Brown. But the legal roadblocks erected by every level of the judicial system makes it extremely difficult to combat the use of excessive force. Even when the system comes together to punish officer wrongdoing, it's rarely the officer that bears the burden. Whether it's a settlement or a prison sentence, it's still the public footing the bill.





Latest Tyranny/Police State
- Canadian PM Vows To Take Away Citizens' Rights In Response To Parliament Attacker
- NYPD Officer Mistakes Fellow Cop For Suspect, Kicks Him In The Head
- Why 'Good Cops' Stay Silent, Continued
- Protesters Who Planned To Smash 'Police Brutality' Pumpkins Arrested For Littering, Assault
- New Hampshire Supreme Court Takes Up Meter Feeding
- "No Refusal" Blood Draw Checkpoint Planned for Ohio
- NYPD Looking Into Arrest Of Subway Performer After Video Goes Viral; Arrest Voided
- Fla. Sheriff May Be Liable For His Deputy Arresting Man For Videotaping









Comments Add Comment Page 1 of 1
Anonymous

Posted: Aug 30 2014, 11:41 AM

Link
7565 It's class war. The pigs are the private army of the 1%ers, the corporation owners, the rich politicos, etc. All 3 branches of our govt are now essentially OWNED by corporations, i.e., by the filthy CEOs and boards of directors of those corporations.


Add Comment
Name
Comment

* No HTML


Verification *
Please Enter the Verification Code Seen Below
 


PLEASE NOTE
Please see our About Page, our Disclaimer, and our Comments Policy.


FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.

About Us - Disclaimer - Privacy Policy



Advanced Search
Username:

Password:

Remember Me
Forgot Password?
Register

Mission Creeps: Homeland Security Agents Confiscate Women's Panties For 'Copyright Infringement' - 10/23Canadian PM Vows To Take Away Citizens' Rights In Response To Parliament Attacker - 10/24Chicago Cop Who Assaulted 89-Yr-Old For Requesting He Stop Cursing Gets 3 Years - 10/23Protesters Who Planned To Smash 'Police Brutality' Pumpkins Arrested For Littering, Assault - 10/24NYPD Officer Mistakes Fellow Cop For Suspect, Kicks Him In The Head - 10/24NYPD Looking Into Arrest Of Subway Performer After Video Goes Viral; Arrest Voided - 10/24Fla. Sheriff May Be Liable For His Deputy Arresting Man For Videotaping - 10/24Why 'Good Cops' Stay Silent, Continued - 10/24

Rialto, CA Police Made to Wear Cameras, Use of Force Drops by Over Two-ThirdsCop Who Karate Chopped NY Judge In Throat Gets Off Scot-FreeFlorida Cop Smashes Compliant Woman's Face Into Car -- "Maybe Now You Can Understand Simple Instructions"VIDEO: Lapel Cam Reveals A Day In The Life Of A U.S. Police Officer (Tasing, Beating, Breaking & Entering, Stomping On Heads... and Laughing About It)Caught On Tape: Officer Sucker Punches Inmate In Face, Files Report Claiming 'Self Defense'Insult Person On Twitter, Go To JailSWAT Team Brings TV Crew To Film Raid Against Threatening Internet Critic -- Raids Innocent Grandma InsteadCop Karate Chops NY Judge In The Throat
(more)

 
Top