Federal Judge Calls Out Qualified Immunity's Contribution To Racist Policing

from the unfortunately-the-racist-cop-still-wins dept

If you only read one qualified immunity decision this year, make it this one. (At least until something better comes along. But this one will be hard to top.) [h/t MagentaRocks]

The decision [PDF] -- written by Judge Carlton W. Reeves for the Southern District of Mississippi -- deals with the abuse of a Black man by a white cop. Fortunately, the man lived to sue. Unfortunately, Supreme Court precedent means the officer will not be punished. But the opening of the opinion is unforgettable. It's a long recounting of the injustices perpetrated on Black people by white law enforcement officers.

Clarence Jamison wasn’t jaywalking.

He wasn’t outside playing with a toy gun.

He didn’t look like a “suspicious person.”

He wasn’t suspected of “selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.”

He wasn’t suspected of passing a counterfeit $20 bill.

He didn’t look like anyone suspected of a crime.

He wasn’t mentally ill and in need of help.

He wasn’t assisting an autistic patient who had wandered away from a group home.

He wasn’t walking home from an after-school job.

He wasn’t walking back from a restaurant.

He wasn’t hanging out on a college campus.

He wasn’t standing outside of his apartment.

He wasn’t inside his apartment eating ice cream.

He wasn’t sleeping in his bed.

He wasn’t sleeping in his car.

He didn’t make an “improper lane change.”

He didn’t have a broken tail light.

He wasn’t driving over the speed limit.

He wasn’t driving under the speed limit.

Every one of these is linked to a footnote that points to a news article or (in one case) a DOJ investigation dealing with white officers perpetrating violence and other rights violations against Black citizens. (The decision does not provide links to everything listed here. Although there are footnotes appended, only a couple contain actual URLs. I have linked to relevant stories where possible to provide context.)

The decision continues:

No, Clarence Jamison was a Black man driving a Mercedes convertible.

As he made his way home to South Carolina from a vacation in Arizona, Jamison was pulled over and subjected to one hundred and ten minutes of an armed police officer badgering him, pressuring him, lying to him, and then searching his car top-to-bottom for drugs.

Nothing was found. Jamison isn’t a drug courier. He’s a welder.

Unsatisfied, the officer then brought out a canine to sniff the car. The dog found nothing. So nearly two hours after it started, the officer left Jamison by the side of the road to put his car back together.

The officer claimed he had a right to perform the traffic stop. According to Officer Nick McClendon of the Richland Police Department, the temporary tag on the vehicle had "folded over," making it impossible to read. Officer McClendon testified that this sort of thing happens when temp tags aren't secured properly and the vehicle is traveling at highway speeds.

That's what McClendon swore to. This is what he said when he was confronted with actual facts:

When Officer McClendon was shown the cardboard tag during his deposition, it showed no signs of being creased. The officer claimed that it either could have folded without creasing or that someone had ironed out the crease.

Yeah, I'm sure Clarence Jamison -- frightened by a two-hour shakedown by a white cop -- did exactly that: went straight home and ironed his dealer plate.

Here's what Jamison testified he did after this two-hour roadside ordeal:

When I first got home, I couldn’t sleep. So I was up for like – I didn’t even sleep when I got home. I think I got some rest the next day because I was still mad just thinking about it and then when all this killing and stuff come on TV, that’s like a flashback. I said, man, this could have went this way. It had me thinking all kind of stuff because it was not even called for. . . .

Then I seen a story about the guy in South Carolina, in Charleston, a busted taillight. They stopped him for that and shot him in the back,33 and all that just went through my mind . . . .

I don’t even watch the news no more. I stopped watching the news because every time you turn it on something’s bad.

The court surmises Jamison is referring to the shooting of Walter Scott by South Carolina police officer Walter Slager. Scott was shot in the back by Slager as he ran away from the officer. Footage captured by a passerby's cellphone appeared to show Officer Slager planting his Taser on the ground near where Scott fell. When the shots were fired, Scott was nearly 20 feet away from Slager. Nevertheless, Officer Slager radioed for help, claiming Scott had tried to grab his Taser.

Moving on from this point, Judge Reeves does something very few courts have: he runs down the history of Section 1983 lawsuits and their ties to both the 14th Amendment and the history of racism perpetrated by law enforcement.

Jamison brings his claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a statute that has its origins in the Civil War and “Reconstruction,” the brief era that followed the bloodshed. If the Civil War was the only war in our nation’s history dedicated to the proposition that Black lives matter, Reconstruction was dedicated to the proposition that Black futures matter, too.

Following this came the 14th Amendment. These were all positive developments, but whites in the South didn't think so. This includes Mississippi, where this case originates. Whites resented the rights given to Blacks, even though they were the same rights enjoyed by white people. Racism ensued.

In Mississippi, it became a criminal offense for blacks to hunt or fish,” and a U.S. Army General reported that “white militias, with telltale names such as the Jeff Davis Guards, were springing up across” the state.

[...]

The terrorism in Mississippi was unparalleled. During the first three months of 1870, 63 Black Mississippians “were murdered . . . and nobody served a day for these crimes.” In 1872, the U.S. Attorney for Mississippi wrote that Klan violence was ubiquitous and that “only the presence of the army kept the Klan from overrunning north Mississippi completely."

Section 1983 -- which allows citizens to sue government employees for rights violations -- is derived from the Ku Klux Klan Act. Congress realized local law enforcement agencies were acting like unofficial wings of the KKK, frequently engaging in violence against Black people. Unfortunately, this proved to be little more than a speed bump as far as systemic racism went.

“By 1873, many white Southerners were calling for ‘Redemption’ – the return of white supremacy and the removal of rights for blacks – instead of Reconstruction.” The federal system largely abandoned the emancipationist efforts of the Reconstruction Era. And the violence returned. “In 1874, 29 African-Americans were massacred in Vicksburg, according to Congressional investigators. The next year, amidst rumors of an African-American plot to storm the town, the Mayor of Clinton, Mississippi gathered a white paramilitary unit which hunted and killed an estimated 30 to 50 African-Americans.” And in 1876, U.S. Marshal James Pierce said, “Almost the entire white population of Mississippi is one vast mob.”

It took nearly 100 years for federal courts to reverse the bigotry of the Southern emancipation backlash.

It was against this backdrop that the Supreme Court attempted to resuscitate Section 1983. In 1961, the Court decided Monroe v. Pape, a case where “13 Chicago police officers broke into [a Black family’s] home in the early morning, routed them from bed, made them stand naked in the living room, and ransacked every room, emptying drawers and ripping mattress covers.” The Justices held that Section 1983 provides a remedy for people deprived of their constitutional rights by state officials. Accordingly, the Court found that the Monroe family could pursue their lawsuit against the officers.

Clarence Jamison, a Black man traveling through Mississippi -- probably noticed things hadn't improved much over the last 50 years. Here's a brief glimpse of his treatment by Officer McClendon:

According to Officer McClendon, he walked back to the passenger side of Jamison’s car before hearing from NCIC. He later admitted in his deposition that his goal when he returned to Jamison’s car was to obtain consent to search the car. Once he reached the passenger side window, Officer McClendon returned Jamison’s documents and struck up a conversation without mentioning that the EPIC background check came back clear. Thinking he was free to go after receiving his documents, Jamison says he prepared to leave.

[...]

According to Jamison, however, as he prepared to leave, Officer McClendon put his hand over the passenger door threshold of Jamison’s car and told him to, “Hold on a minute.” Officer McClendon then asked Jamison – for the first time – if he could search Jamison’s car. “For what?” Jamison replied. Officer McClendon changed the conversation, asking him what he did for a living. They discussed Jamison’s work as a welder.

Officer McClendon asked Jamison – for the second time – if he could search the car. Jamison again asked, “For what?” Officer McClendon said he had received a phone call reporting that there were 10 kilos of cocaine in Jamison’s car. That was a lie. Jamison did not consent to the search.

Officer McClendon then made a third request to search the car. Jamison responded, “there is nothing in my car.” They started talking about officers “planting stuff” in people’s cars. At this point, Officer McClendon “scrunched down,” placed his hand into the car, and patted the inside of the passenger door. As he did this, Officer McClendon made his fourth request saying, “Come on, man. Let me search your car.” Officer McClendon moved his arm further into the car at this point, while patting it with his hand.

As if four asks were not enough, Officer McClendon then made his fifth and final request. He lied again, “I need to search your car . . . because I got the phone call [about] 10 kilos of cocaine.”

Jamison -- tiring of McClendon and perhaps feeling this would speed things up -- agreed to a search. A very invasive and thorough search was conducted but nothing was found.

Officer McClendon later testified that he searched Jamison’s car “from the engine compartment to the trunk to the undercarriage to underneath the engine to the back seats to anywhere to account for all the voids inside the vehicle.”

[...]

Officer McClendon admitted in his deposition that he did not find “anything suspicious whatsoever.”

When the search fails, maybe it's time to call in the Yes Man, which is actually a dog that can give cops permission to engage in searches.

However, he asked Jamison if he could “deploy [his] canine.” Jamison says he initially refused. Officer McClendon asked again, though, and Jamison relented, saying “Yes, go ahead.” Officer McClendon “deployed [his] dog around the vehicle.” The dog gave no indication, “so it confirmed that there was nothing inside the vehicle.”

It may not have ended in death or injury. But it was an injustice all the same. The suspicionless search lasted almost two hours. That's two hours Clarence Jamison will never have back. And it's two hours he could have used at that point, as the court notes:

This explains why [Jamison] was tired. Here he was, standing on the side of a busy interstate at night for almost two hours against his will so Officer McClendon could satisfy his goal of searching Jamison’s vehicle. In that amount of time, Dorothy and Toto could have made it up and down the yellow brick road and back to Kansas. See Lee Pfeiffer, The Wizard of Oz, ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA (Mar. 19, 2010) (noting the 101-minute run time of the 1939 film). If Jamison was driving at 70 MPH before being stopped, in the 110 minutes he was held on the side of the road he would have gotten another 128 miles closer to home, through Rankin, Scott, Newton, and Lauderdale counties and more than 40 miles into Alabama.

But at the end of all of this, there's nothing for Clarence Jamison, who was subjected to what appears to be a racially motivated fishing expedition by a white cop. Why? Because the Supreme Court has made it almost impossible to hold cops accountable for their rights violations, especially when a cop is clever enough to violate rights in a way the court hasn't addressed before.

Given the lack of precedent that places the Constitutional question “beyond debate,” Jamison’s claim cannot proceed. Officer McClendon is entitled to qualified immunity as to Jamison’s prolonged detention and unlawful search claims.

This isn't acceptable, the judge points out. The Supreme Court has ordained abuse of rights by narrowing its self-crafted qualified immunity doctrine to such a sharp point it's almost impossible for plaintiffs to overcome. This is complete bullshit says Judge Reeves, even as he recognizes he cannot rule any other way. Here's a list of rights violations deemed to be acceptable by courts, due to a lack of on-point precedent.

A review of our qualified immunity precedent makes clear that the Court has dispensed with any pretense of balancing competing values. Our courts have shielded a police officer who shot a child while the officer was attempting to shoot the family dog; prison guards who forced a prisoner to sleep in cells “covered in feces” for days; police officers who stole over $225,000 worth of property; a deputy who bodyslammed a woman after she simply “ignored [the deputy’s] command and walked away”; an officer who seriously burned a woman after detonating a “flashbang” device in the bedroom where she was sleeping; an officer who deployed a dog against a suspect who “claim[ed] that he surrendered by raising his hands in the air”; and an officer who shot an unarmed woman eight times after she threw a knife and glass at a police dog that was attacking her brother.

The courts are supposed to protect citizens' rights. The Supreme Court has made it impossible for courts to do that.

If Section 1983 was created to make the courts “guardians of the people’s federal rights,’” what kind of guardians have the courts become? One only has to look at the evolution of the doctrine to answer that question.

Once, qualified immunity protected officers who acted in good faith. The doctrine now protects all officers, no matter how egregious their conduct, if the law they broke was not “clearly established.”

Nearly 60 years later, politicians, who are unable to continue ignoring police violence against citizens, are looking to strip this protection away from officers. But they're fighting an uphill battle against entrenched unions, powerful law enforcement allies in legislatures, and the Supreme Court itself. And the nation's top court seems unwilling to correct its unforced error. Qualified immunity has given cops permission slips to engage in rights violations and severe misconduct. Crime, for the most part, continues to remain at historic lows. Despite this, police officers are still killing people at the rate of ~1,000/year with no sign of slowing down. That's on top of rights violations that never seem to decline, no matter how much criminal activity does. Qualified immunity encourages abuse and that encouragement -- the Supreme Court's implicit blessing -- is still felt most by Black citizens who have been the target of police violence and abuse for well over 200 years.

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Filed Under: carlton reeves, civil rights, police brutality, qualified immunity, racist policing


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Anton Sherwood (profile), 6 Aug 2020 @ 12:59pm

    totally not advocating violence

    It would be a shame if something were to happen to those members of the Court who voted not to hear any of the QI cases this term.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Aug 2020 @ 1:12pm

      You should feel shame for expressing such a disgusting sentiment.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2020 @ 10:09pm

        Re:

        I might... but then this happens so often the effort to feel any shame or regret for anything that happened to said members of the Court seem to have ballooned to monumental levels. I'd give myself a hernia for far less exertion.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Paul B, 6 Aug 2020 @ 2:13pm

      Re: totally not advocating violence

      Be careful what you ask for...

      The court sometimes choose not to take up cases because the justices are deeply divided on an issue. This could mean that you have 5 in favor of more QI instead of less.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 6 Aug 2020 @ 12:59pm

    This? This is why you get protests.

    Even when they highlight the many ways the deck is stacked in favor of police and the numerous injustices inflicted by the police against the public they are still bound by the idiots in the US supreme court who've never seen a cop they didn't like, that has got to really annoy the hell out of the judge.

    With rulings like this it's hardly surprising that people have gotten so pissed off with the system and have lost any belief that maybe asking the police to pretty-please stop violating the rights and lives of those around them will work and have instead taken to the street to demand real changes be made, because when even a judge entirely sympathetic to the victim has to admit that the system has tied their hands such that they can do nothing it's pretty clear that business as usual benefits and protects only those in power.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      aerinai (profile), 6 Aug 2020 @ 1:17pm

      Re: This? This is why you get protests.

      I guess my question is why couldn't the judge go ahead and say all of this, throw the book at at the guy, admit find a way to find a previous, but tenuous, precedent and kick it up the ladder, HOPEFULLY to another judge that will do the exact same thing?

      Side Note: can someone please explain to me how Rodriguez didn't apply? The officer was blatantly not going to let this guy go regardless (5x times in asking is excessive)! That should have been considered enough grounds for QI being broken since that is an established precedent.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2020 @ 1:24pm

        Re: Re: This? This is why you get protests.

        Side Note: can someone please explain to me how Rodriguez didn't apply?

        It's not mentioned in the order; maybe Jamison didn't raise it as an argument? (If that's true, he needed a better lawyer)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 6 Aug 2020 @ 2:30pm

        Re: Re: This? This is why you get protests.

        I imagine they were temped, however because the US supreme court has basically given cops a 'get out of responsibility free' card any such ruling would be overturned almost immediately.

        As for your second point I can only assume that the AC above is correct and the victim's lawyer screwed up and didn't bring it up, because you're absolutely right in that the stop seems to be a pretty blatant violation of that.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          kitsune106, 6 Aug 2020 @ 3:01pm

          Re: Re: Re: This? This is why you get protests.

          they migth have.. and still under as different then that circumstanec.. also.. tehcicnally, he was free to go.... as this was tehcicnally a friendly chat. as the ticket was handed.. then he kept the talking. techicnalyl he could have driven off. its not the officre's fault the man felt he could not. he should have exercised his rights, which would hveae been suspicious, to my training... remember.. its reasonable officer... and frankly.. that's different then civilian as we're at war.

          the issue is the reasonable officer. It would be like saying "we will be judging your home cooking, by top chief rules. which mean, gloves and everything else. what.. its resaonable commerical chief.... not my fault you think like a civlian....

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Aug 2020 @ 1:24am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: This? This is why you get protests.

            "also.. tehcicnally, he was free to go.... as this was tehcicnally a friendly chat."

            As factual evidence shows, a black man who tries to do just that often ends up dead or maimed. A "friendly chat" with US police, if you are black, often means simply "We'll hassle you for as long as we can and if you ever try to spoil our fun by making use of your actual rights we'll gun you down like a dog and claim we 'Feared for our lives' in front of the judge afterwards".

            George Floyd cooperated with the police - or rather, didn't resist as he was wrestled to the ground, handcuffed, held down, had a knee planted on his throat, and was then slowly and cruelly choked to death.

            "...that's different then civilian as we're at war. "

            "War" - as in "white people vs black people" or as "Police officers vs civilians"? Either case is not a good excuse.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Kitsune106, 7 Aug 2020 @ 4:48am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This? This is why you get protests.

              I agree no excuse. But people will grab at threads.

              And this is currenty legal. But not right. I do APOLOGIZE if I was rude. Just frustrated.
              The sating power corrupts is true. And thanks to our system, well, lawful but awful.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Aug 2020 @ 5:18am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This? This is why you get protests.

                "I do APOLOGIZE if I was rude. Just frustrated. "

                More like your comment was really hard to follow.

                As for frustration, well, i can sympathize. I've gone so far beyond "frustrated" that by now I'm just sitting and shaking my head at the news.
                I'd like to say that I've stopped letting the news upset me but every time I do the US alt-right surpasses themselves in presenting yet another situation so malicious, dumb, or deranged I'm left wishing for something stronger to drink than mere coffee.

                I'm still digesting the fact that the US covid death toll is past 155k. That's more than they lost in soldiers in WW 1. In far less time. And, apparently, half of the US still thinks the danger is overstated.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Kitsune106, 7 Aug 2020 @ 7:34am

                  Agreed

                  It's just. Well, the words have meaning. Reasonable officer to me also means how trained. If they are told everyone they come into contact is a threat then ending a threat is reasonable. Sinice what taught. And if you view as in a war, then what is reasonable changes. It sounds nice in theory but reality is messy.

                  I am no officer. No police. I do live action roleplay, a boffer larp. As a semi military person in a medical setting. Doing it at night, I can see why officers claim fear. And at times... I am sure that an npc I am talking too is evil, but cannot prove it. And I can see how anger and rush of Andrea line can twist preceptions.

                  It's just... I feel like rules are made without people filling understanding what it really means. And the temptation to remove threats, well. Power corrupts. And people will do what they feel is right. The main problem with reasonable officer standard is we do not fully know how they are trained... so what they see as reasonable versus average Joe might be different. Especially if they view their job to get back home safe. The. Anything that saves their ass is reasonable as part of their job. Sorry for venting. I just do not see easy fixes...

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2020 @ 7:57am

                    Re: Agreed

                    This incident was not something that happened fast, but rather an officer deciding that he was going to execute a search, and continue searching until he found something or got bored with being a bully. It was not a reasonable action, or a mistake made under pressure, but a deliberate decision to hassle a black person.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Aug 2020 @ 3:33am

                    Re: Agreed

                    "Doing it at night, I can see why officers claim fear."

                    The problem isn't usually officers claiming they "feared for their lives" at night in dark alleys. If it were we wouldn't be having quite so much of a debate around it.

                    The issue is that five well-armed officers will beat down an unarmed man and, thinking he may have a knife on his person, will empty their guns into a man already beaten unconscious by having officers holding his arms while other officers are kicking his head. For example.

                    The issue is that a man not resisting arrest will be wrestled to the ground, handcuffed, and then one officer will hold him down while another parks a knee on his throat and slowly chokes him to death.

                    The issue is that an officer will, from outside the house, observe a black woman standing in a kitchen with a knife and fire through the window, killing her for holding a kitchen knife to a salad - in her own kitchen.

                    THAT is the issue. Not US officers being afraid of reasonable threats.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 10 Aug 2020 @ 10:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: This? This is why you get protests.

            I wonder what would have happened if he had asked "Am I free to go?" As far as I know nobody has ever been shot for asking that, and it really puts the officer to the test. If they say yes you leave. If they say no, then they have stated that you are being detained, and that takes things to a different level. An officer can have a "friendly chat" with you for no reason, but they are supposed to have reasonable suspicion to detain you, and there was clearly none here.

            Two phrases to remember if you ever interact with police:

            "I do not consent to any search" *
            "Am I free to go?"

            * they will sometimes ask "do you mind if I search your vehicle?" Do not answer "yes" or "no" because either could be construed as consent. Say "I do not consent to any search."

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2020 @ 11:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This? This is why you get protests.

              "* they will sometimes ask "do you mind if I search your vehicle?" Do not answer "yes" or "no" because either could be construed as consent. Say "I do not consent to any search.""

              Philando Castille was shot for complying with officers' orders. Do you honestly think he'd have been any better off by refusing?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Uriel-238 (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 2:44am

                Philando Castile

                Castile had been stopped by the police at least 49 times in 13 years for minor traffic and equipment violations, the majority of which were dismissed -- Wikipedia

                They kept trying until they got it right.

                The St. Anthony Police Department had it out for Castile. They might have had it out for every black man in the area, and probably still do, but it sure looks like they were determined to roll those dice until they killed Castile.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 2:50am

                  Re: Philando Castile

                  Indeed, he was just the first example that came to mind. There are many other examples where someone was either shot while attempting to comply with cops, or were not given a chance to do so. In other words, trying to get all sassy with the cop because you think you know your rights is generally not going to be a good idea, even if you're legally correct to do so.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    nasch (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 7:57am

                    Re: Re: Philando Castile

                    trying to get all sassy with the cop because you think you know your rights is generally not going to be a good idea,

                    There's a difference between "getting sassy" and declining to give permission for a baseless search.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      PaulT (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 10:51pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Philando Castile

                      "There's a difference between "getting sassy" and declining to give permission for a baseless search."

                      In the mind of the roided up bully who's faced with a black man getting all uppity about having rights? Probably not. A court might find differently, but some people don't make it that far.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                nasch (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 7:56am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This? This is why you get protests.

                Philando Castille was shot for complying with officers' orders. Do you honestly think he'd have been any better off by refusing?

                Of course not, but I don't know where you got the idea that I would. My suggestion was for protecting ones' rights, not ones' safety. Since as you say he was shot and killed for complying, do you honestly think he would have been any worse off by refusing a search?

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 10:49pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This? This is why you get protests.

                  "Since as you say he was shot and killed for complying, do you honestly think he would have been any worse off by refusing a search?"

                  No, I'm saying that since people are actually being shot for gently complying with officers' demands, it's not necessarily good advice to give them a reason to escalate.

                  These might be relatively rare occurrences still, but if a cop is willing to spend hours pointlessly searching a guy's property because he's desperate to find something to pin on him, I somehow doubt that refusing the officer the ability to perform a search would have improved his mood or reaction.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    nasch (profile), 12 Aug 2020 @ 7:29am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This? This is why you get protes

                    No, I'm saying that since people are actually being shot for gently complying with officers' demands, it's not necessarily good advice to give them a reason to escalate.

                    It doesn't seem to make any difference what the victims do. When they are getting killed for walking home from the store or sleeping in their own homes, it seems to be all about the officer and not the person being stopped / shot.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Quarthinos, 6 Aug 2020 @ 1:16pm

    Is anyone going to comment on how Brown vs. Board of Education started very similarly? I have no idea if Mr. Jamison is planning on appealing to the Supreme Court, but I really hope so.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 6 Aug 2020 @ 2:00pm

    Yep. It sounds like...

    There are too few rioters and not enough precincts were burned down.

    In other news the Minneapolis council is backtracking on abolishing the police, or even defunding it.

    Do we really need more dead black people to justify abolishment? If we do, the flash is only going to be worse.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2020 @ 2:02pm

    I still can't understand why QI isn't seen as a trap for the officer. Either you knew what you were doing when you violated someone's rights so no QI, or you are incompetent and need to be retrained prior to returning to work. Obviously if you are in training you only receive a training salary and cannot collect overtime or work as private security.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 6 Aug 2020 @ 2:07pm

      Re:

      It's not a trap because incompetency is not an impedient to being an officer but a requirement.

      Score too high on an IQ test, and you are not eligible for hiring. The danger is too high that qualified immunity would not cover routine conduct anymore, making you unsuitable for serving as well as your dumb colleagues, It might even mess with their access to qualified immunity since you could be expected to pass on when you realize they are violating people's right.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Whoever, 6 Aug 2020 @ 3:51pm

    How is what the cop did not "clearly established" to be illegal?

    The Supreme court already said that cops have to let a driver go once the primary purpose of the stop is complete. Rodriguez v. United States established this.

    The cop broke "clearly established" law and the QI decision is bullshit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2020 @ 4:53am

      Re: How is what the cop did not "clearly established" to be ille

      Because there was no primary purpose other than the search. That doesn't fit Rodriguez, where the cop stopped him leaving after the ticket had been completed (and ISTR a lesser precedent that fixes the time wasting loophole left in Rodriguez, though I think that was a different circuit).

      In this case the stop itself was totally baseless (since he hadn't even bothered to have a friend make the "anonymous" call).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 7 Aug 2020 @ 12:36am

    "So nearly two hours after it started, the officer left Jamison by the side of the road to put his car back together."

    I'm not sure about anyone else, but if I spent 2 hours doing something completely useless while calling in expensive extra assistance all down to a baseless assumption that I needed to do something unspecified, then left everything in a worse state than when it started, I probably wouldn't be employed the next day.

    The problem there isn't just QI, it's the fact that apparently officers are expected to waste time and money on the off chance they see something related to their jobs. That doesn't fly anywhere else. Now, I'm certainly not in favour of a system where cops jobs are tied to results as that's a major invitation of corruption and far worse abuses of human rights. But, if an officer is wasting time and resources in such a flagrant manner this should be something that leads to some kind of internal comeback.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    dickeyrat, 7 Aug 2020 @ 3:39am

    One must take solemn note of those wild-eyed Trump-worshiping Rethugnicans (mostly, by far) who bellow out for unconditional love and "support" for the Police. One wonders which side they would have supported in World War Two, since Hitler's Gestapo set much clearer precedents for Police actions we regularly see in this dark, dank, dystopian, ugly future into which we have all found ourselves. Obviously, look at the the Washington church-Trump/bible-photo-op event, some weeks back--and of course recent occurrences in Portland. "Freedom" and "liberty" are merely cliches in this country, in these times. And if you desire to be an overpaid, state-sanctioned bully, retiring at age 40 with an annual pension exceeding $100K, then go join your local Polizei. They'll gladly guide you down your road---if you're murderous enough, that is...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 7 Aug 2020 @ 7:45am

      Re:

      One wonders which side they would have supported in World War Two, since Hitler's Gestapo set much clearer precedents for Police actions we regularly see in this dark, dank, dystopian, ugly future into which we have all found ourselves.

      Slavish worship of authority and 'law and order', rampant hatred and fear of The Other, a pronounced indifference to the death and suffering of anyone not in their cult... no, you really don't need to wonder which side they'd have been on or supporting.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Aug 2020 @ 5:21am

    "Obviously, look at the the Washington church-Trump/bible-photo-op event, some weeks back..."

    Ah, anyone recall when stuff like that was the province of badly screwed-up propaganda from failed soviet satellite states everyone in western media giggled at as a clear indication that nation was malfunctioning? Oh, for those good old times...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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