Daigle Law Group
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Civil Liability and Use of Force
Training Bulletin - First Amendment Auditors
August 24, 2021 - Video, Use of Force and Qualified Immunity
Dashcams and body-worn cameras can be both a blessing and a curse for law enforcement. They allow for the court system to view an incident in real time, but they sometimes cloud perception and make it difficult to not view an incident with 20/20 hindsight. In Cunningham v. Shelby County[i] Deputies Paschal and Wiggins appealed a case through the Sixth Circuit Court. Paschal and Wiggins were not granted qualified immunity after the fatal shooting of Nancy Lewellyn. Although the incident was captured on each deputies’ dashboard camera, the district court originally tried the case using only “screenshots” of the eleven-second event.
August 5, 2021 - Standing Akimbo, LLC v. United States
On June 28th, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas released a statement pertaining to the federal ban on the cultivation and use of marijuana within states where he noted that it “may no longer be necessary or proper.” This statement was made in connection with the denial of a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in the case of Standing Akimbo, LLC v. United States.
July 27, 2021 - Your Agency's Response to Crowd Control
Law enforcement agencies in the United States know all too well the importance of protecting individuals’ First Amendment rights during mass demonstrations. But what happens when officers find themselves in the crosshairs of the demonstrators’ rage? This is the challenge faced by officers more and more, particularly after the in-custody death of George Floyd on May 26, 2020.
Special Need Exception to Reasonable Suspicion
In past articles, involving Terry Stops we have discussed the need for “Reasonable Suspicion” and the requirement that the officers have a “particularized suspicion” with respect to the defendant. So how, then, are we able to address a situation where officers hear and receive complaints of shots fired in an area and respond to find several people walking away? Officers may not have a “particularized suspicion” with respect to any single member of the group so would it be reasonable under the 4th Amendment for officers to stop the whole group? Let’s take a look at the facts in United States vs. Curry and see what the 4th Circuit had to say.
This week we look at a traffic stop case, United States v. Gurule, that touches on a number of issues – requiring passengers to exit the vehicle during the stop, consent to search, and frisking the passenger during a consent search. I often say that the success or failure of a case is often determined based on a matter of seconds and the quality of the officer’s report or testimony. I think you will see those issues play out in today’s case.
It is not unusual for us to review car stop cases. As I have said more than once, car stops are the bread and butter of good police work. But what happens in those cases where officers conduct a legitimate car stop based on mistaken information? Fortunately, as we see in this case, the courts understand that in the fast-paced business of policing there may be situations where an officer makes an honest mistake or misreads information off the “hot sheet”.