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Thread: Without "Qualified Immunity," Would Cops Be So Quick to Kill?

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    Without "Qualified Immunity," Would Cops Be So Quick to Kill?

    Open carriers should be VERY concerned with "qualified immunity", as many innocent people were killed by police in 2014 for simply openly possessing what APPEARED to be a firearm (toys in a number of cases). Qualified immunity MUST be removed from LEO's and stricter ROE's must be employed to include, DO NOT FIRE UNLESS FIRED UPON!

    http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com...ould-cops.html
    Without "Qualified Immunity," Would Cops Be So Quick to Kill?

    The story had a familiar beginning, but took an unexpected detour en route to an unanticipated conclusion.

    Dante Price, a young black man, was trying to visit his girlfriend and infant son at the Summit Square apartment complex in Dayton, Ohio. Price was confronted by two uniformed, armed officers who told him had been banned from the property as a trespasser.

    As the encounter grew heated, the officers drew their guns and ordered Price from his car. After the driver refused to comply, one of the officers contacted the Dayton PD to request backup; on the recording, his partner can be heard screaming at Price, “Get out of the car, now!” Instead of exiting his vehicle and prostrating himself at the feet of the officers, Price hit the gas and attempted to flee.

    The officers unloaded seventeen shots at Price, three of which struck him. The 25-year-old plowed his Cadillac into a parked car. He was dead before the paramedics arrived.

    “We got a guy trying to assault us with his vehicle,” one of the officers reported to Dayton PD headquarters immediately after the shooting. “We had to fire at him. He charged us.”

    Within a few hours, an internal investigation conducted by veteran police officer Ivan G. Burke concluded that the shooting of the unarmed motorist was “justified.” By disobeying orders and attempting to flee, Price had caused the officers to “fear for their lives” and the shooting was therefore an act of self-defense.


    So far, so familiar. However, at this point the story diverges sharply from the standard narrative.

    Rather than dismissing the matter and lecturing Price’s grieving relatives about the need to “respect the process,” the Dayton PD made investigating the shooting a priority. The crime scene was carefully scrutinized, and investigators interviewed dozens of witnesses. Evidence was turned over to Montgomery County DA Mat Heck, who presented it to a grand jury.

    Four months after the March 2012 shooting, the panel handed down murder and abduction indictments against the two officers, 32-year-old Christopher E. Tarbert and 24-year-old Justin R. Wissinger. Last week, Tarbert and Wissinger, who had been threatened with life imprisonment, were sentenced to four years of incarceration as a result of a plea bargain agreement.

    The incident in which Dante Price was killed bears an uncanny resemblance to the shooting death of Danielle Willard by police in West Valley City, Utah in November 2012. In both cases, the victim was confronted by armed officers, refused orders to exit the vehicle, and was shot while trying to flee. Shaun Cowley, the former West Valley City Police Detective who killed Willard, claimed that he acted in self-defense.

    Salt Lake County DA Sim Gill, in an almost unprecedented act of principle, indicted Cowley for manslaughter. That prompted nearly the entire “criminal justice” system in Utah to rally behind Cowley.

    Former federal Judge Paul Cassell, who volunteered his services as defense counsel for Cowley, complained that “a guilty verdict in this case will jeopardize the safety of the community by making police officers fearful of defending themselves against criminals who are threatening deadly force.” Casell insisted that the simple act of charging Cowley endangered that most precious of all imaginable things, “officer safety.”

    Utah Third District Judge L.A. Dever agreed, dismissing the charge in an October pre-trial hearing. Despite the overwhelming evidence that neither Cowley nor his partner was in the path of the vehicle at the time the fatal shots were fired, Judge Dever accepted the defendant’s claim that he “reasonably believed” the non-compliant driver posed a potential threat.


    Officers Tarbert and Wissinger offered the same defense regarding their decision to shoot Price, but it availed them nothing. Rather than being exonerated immediately, the officers faced a long and expensive legal ordeal. While they were awaiting resolution of their case, another lethal force incident involving an unarmed black man took place at a retail store that had probably been frequented by the late Dante Price.

    Last September, John Crawford, III was fatally shot by police at a Wal-Mart in Beavercreek – about seventeen miles from the apartment complex where Price was killed. At the time, Crawford was holding in one hand a BB rifle he intended to purchase, and carried a cell phone in the other. Sgt. David Darkow and Officer Sean Williams, who responded to a thoroughly inaccurate report via a panic-stricken 911 call shot Crawford within seconds of their arrival at the store.

    In this case, rather than investigating the actions of the officers, the Dayton PD strove to find some way to blame the victim for the shooting. Tasha Thomas, the Crawford’s traumatized girlfriend, was detained andinterrogated for over an hour and a half by Detective Rodney Curd, who did everything he could to manipulate her into saying that Crawford was carrying an actual firearm. To that end Curd followed standard police procedure by lying to Thomas and threatening her with criminal charges unless she supplied him with the story he wanted.


    “I want to be very clear, OK?” Curd told the sobbing woman. “That man got a weapon at some point, I understand, OK? That man produced that weapon. That man had the weapon when you picked him up. He had it in your car or something. You understand that we’re investigating a serious incident. You lie to me, and you might be on your way to jail, so I want to be very clear about that.”

    Curd also pretended that Thomas, who was weeping and in shock, appeared to be on drugs.

    The detective succeeded in extorting consent for a search of Thomas’s car and cellphone. During the entire ordeal the terrified woman hadn’t been informed that Crawford was dead. Curd withheld that news until after he had concluded the interrogation – and then disclosed it to her in what amounted to a final act of gratuitous, dishonest sadism: “Unfortunately John has passed away as a result of this. What happened there isn’t a good thing and as a result of his actions he is gone.” (Emphasis added.)

    Scant hours had passed since Crawford – who had done nothing wrong or illegal – had been killed without cause or justification by Dayton police, but the official story was already set in granite: Crawford was dead “as a result of his actions,” not those of the privileged killers who had perforated his body with high-velocity rounds.

    From the beginning, the Dayton PD treated John Crawford as a “suspect,” rather than as a victim, solely because he had been killed by fellow police officers. Significantly, that had not been the case in the March 2012 shooting of Dante Price at an apartment complex just a few minutes’ drive away from the Wal-Mart where Crawford was killed. In that earlier case, Price had been identified as the victim, and the officers who shot him were treated as criminal suspects.

    This is because Christopher E. Tarbert and Justin R. Wissinger were employed by the private Ranger Security Company, rather than the Dayton Police Department. Ivan Burke, who owns the company, was briefly employed as an officer with two departments in small towns near Dayton, and at the time of the shooting he was an “auxiliary officer” in Clay Township, a village of about 9,000 people with no reported criminal activity.

    Yes, Tarbert and Wissinger wore special costumes that included glittering baubles denoting their status as “officers”; they carried guns, and conducted patrols.

    Their physical conditioning, mental acumen, and competence with firearms were certainly up to par with the undemanding standards of most municipal police departments. As their encounter with Price demonstrated they had learned to bark orders at the public, treat non-compliance as a threat to “officer safety,” and recite the expected self-exculpatory phrases after killing someone who had defied them.

    In this case, however, the assailants hadn’t been fully invested with the mystical property called “authority.”

    “The shooters were employed as private security guards through Ranger Security – they were not police officers,” explained Montgomery County DA Mat Heck. “They did not have any special arrest powers, authority or privileges beyond what a private citizen would have…. [T]hese private security guards had no legal authority to detain or attempt to detain the victim, and had no legal authority to use or threaten to use deadly force in order to make the victim comply with their orders.”

    Tarbert and Wissinger were lawfully employed as contract security personnel to guard private property, and turn away uninvited intruders. But they hadn’t been consecrated as members of the State’s punitive priesthood, and without that official unction they weren’t able to transubstantiate aggressive violence into “law enforcement.”

    Despite the trappings of their profession, their formal training, and their state-issued licenses, Tarbert and Wissinger were Mundanes, and thus were not endowed with “qualified immunity” that would protect them from accountability for their act of criminal homicide. The blame for the incident was imputed to them, rather than to the unarmed, fleeing victim. They didn’t have standing to insist that Price had died “as a result of his actions,” as the Dayton PD claimed in the killing of unarmed John Crawford.

    Owing to the fact that police are employed by the class that preys on property, they have no obligation to protect it against crime. Those who want that service have to pay for it out of their own resources, in addition to surrendering the taxes that are used to pay the police. There are at least three times as many private security and investigative specialists than government law enforcement agents in this country. Nearly all of them -- apart from moonlighting police officers -- confront genuine risks on behalf of their customers, and do so without the benefit of "qualified immunity."

    This means that when they screw up, private peace officers, unlike government-employed police, can be held accountable.

    Tarbert and Wissinger were entirely within their rights to demand that Price leave privately owned property where he wasn’t welcome. In doing so they comported themselves as peace officers acting in defense of property rights. Unfortunately they decided to mimic the behavior of law enforcement personnel by attempting to detain Price, trying to humiliate him by ordering him to the ground, and then summarily executing him for disobeying their orders.

    As District Attorney Heck observed, because the guards were not state-employed purveyors of violence, they had no “authority” to restrain, demean, threaten, or kill someone who hadn’t committed an act of criminal aggression but simply refused to “comply with their orders.” What neither he nor anyone else can rationally explain is why anybody can claim such authority.
    Last edited by Jeff. State; 01-01-2015 at 02:22 PM.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Shooting at what appear to be imminent threats is a separate issue from qualified immunity, which applies to a professional ignorance of the law. I can't commit to reading all the rest of that when you show no distinction between the two in your opening sentence.

    I don't want to lose a public servant simply because he lets bad guys shoot him first.
    Last edited by MAC702; 01-01-2015 at 02:56 PM.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Without qualified immunity no one would be cops either ... I could live with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post

    I don't want to lose a public servant simply because he lets bad guys shoot him first.
    SO, you would rather lose a handful of KIDS with toys, citizens with cell phones and wallets in their hands instead!?!?!?!


    Little hint for you, many modern day American LEO's are NOT "public servants". They are GOVERNMENT servants/revenue agents.
    Last edited by Jeff. State; 01-01-2015 at 03:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    Without qualified immunity no one would be cops either ... I could live with that.
    It would actually promote being a cop as a PUBLIC SERVICE. They would actually be an asset deserving of respect. They would have to THINK about their actions before acting. Don't like it, tough.

    ETA: Any CITIZEN driving down a Santa Rosa street last year stops and kills a kid with an airsoft, would already be serving their prison sentence.
    Last edited by Jeff. State; 01-01-2015 at 03:11 PM.

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    Regular Member Shovelhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff. State View Post

    ETA: Any CITIZEN driving down a Santa Rosa street last year stops and kills a kid with an airsoft, would already be serving their prison sentence.
    So cops should just stand there, and the suspect take the first shot to eliminate the possibility of a replica firearm?
    There ARE 13 year old kids on the streets with real firearms.
    Last edited by Shovelhead; 01-01-2015 at 03:20 PM.
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff. State View Post
    SO, you would rather lose a handful of KIDS with toys,...
    You present a false dichotomy. This does not solve the problem.
    Last edited by MAC702; 01-01-2015 at 03:23 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shovelhead View Post
    So cops should just stand there, and the suspect take the first shot to eliminate the possibility of a replica firearm?.
    YES! OR in many cases no shots would be taken due to the object being a TOY, wallet, cell phone, Wii remote, etc.

    Shooting a KID with a TOY in the back is so Courageous!

    YOUR "what ifs" wreak of Polceone/thin blue line mentality, and don't change the FACT of my first sentence.

    Don't go and tell us how "brave" and "selfless" cops are when they go around making excuses just like yours that resemble quivering FEAR filled bowls of jello.


    Edit to add: Shovelhead, what would have happened to an average citizen if they had shot Andy Lopez in the exact same circumstances??????
    Last edited by Jeff. State; 01-01-2015 at 03:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    You present a false dichotomy. This does not solve the problem.
    But it is not false, and in FACT happened multiple times last year.

    Then you can also add the MULTITUDE of "suicides" by cop where the mentally ill are executed before they ever fire a shot, lunge with a knife, "shoot" with a cordless drill, etc. My guess is last year 100's died of suicide by cop where the only shots fired were BY cops at NON EXISTANT "threats".
    Last edited by Jeff. State; 01-01-2015 at 03:38 PM.

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    Bottom line is, both Qualified Immunity and lax ROEs with "Law" enforcement endanger every single citizen and especially OCers as WE very easily are perceived as a threat by LEOs.

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    Regular Member Maverick9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shovelhead View Post
    So cops should just stand there, and the suspect take the first shot to eliminate the possibility of a replica firearm?
    YES!!!!!

    They have the protection of their squad cars, bullet resistant vests distance and time on their side. They drive up to an event and could park out of range.

    You seem to want to frame it as a cop standing in the open pants down and shirt open saying 'shoot me first' but that doesn't help your position appear less ludicrous. ALWAYS, always no shooting unless shots fired, fired =at= first.

    Period, no excuses, rule #1 of engagements. No shooting at fleeing persons who are not CHARGED with a felony or have not committed in plain sight of officers a felony involving bodily harm.

    How's that? Don't want to be a cop, now? Work at Lowe's, then.

    Abiding passion for shooting someone? Go work at a photography studio.

    Wanted: a few good men and women who have patience, work as a team, and aren't cowards or liars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick9 View Post
    YES!!!!!

    They have the protection of their squad cars, bullet resistant vests distance and time on their side. They drive up to an event and could park out of range.

    You seem to want to frame it as a cop standing in the open pants down and shirt open saying 'shoot me first' but that doesn't help your position appear less ludicrous. ALWAYS, always no shooting unless shots fired, fired =at= first.

    Period, no excuses, rule #1 of engagements. No shooting at fleeing persons who are not CHARGED with a felony or have not committed in plain sight of officers a felony involving bodily harm.

    How's that? Don't want to be a cop, now? Work at Lowe's, then.

    Abiding passion for shooting someone? Go work at a photography studio.

    Wanted: a few good men and women who have patience, work as a team, and aren't cowards or liars.

    VERY well said! Thank you!

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    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    I can't believe I'm on the other side of this argument. But I cannot say ANYONE even cops should have to wait to be shot at in order to shoot.
    But there has to be equality between cops and citizens when shootings occur. Full investigations. Arrests. Gun confiscation. House searched. Phone records pulled.
    Everything done to a citizen involved in shooting especially against an unarmed person. When a cop shoots an unarmed person they MUST get the full "zimmerman treatment".
    This bull larky where a cop guns down an unarmed child for not complying with commands quick enough, then the department provides a cursory statement about "no wrong doing found" must be condemned.
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff. State View Post
    But it is not false, and in FACT happened multiple times last year. ...
    I think you misunderstand what a false dichotomy is. Examples don't support one in rational debate.

    Make cops as accountable as anyone else and subject to the same laws, including removal of qualified immunity.

    This does NOT mean they must be shot at first in order to defend themselves.
    Last edited by MAC702; 01-01-2015 at 06:38 PM. Reason: typo
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    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    Full investigations. Arrests. Gun confiscation. House searched. Phone records pulled.
    Everything done to a citizen involved in shooting especially against an unarmed person.
    I'm not sure this should be done to either a cop or an otherwise LAC. Facts of the case should be paramount. House searched? Phone records pulled? Why?

    When a cop shoots an unarmed person they MUST get the full "zimmerman treatment".
    This bull larky where a cop guns down an unarmed child for not complying with commands quick enough, then the department provides a cursory statement about "no wrong doing found" must be condemned.
    Indeed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator
    So in actuality you have no evidence that anything wrong took place, you only believe that it could be spun to appear wrong. But it hasn't been. The truth has a funny way of coming out with persistence, even if it was spun negatively the truth would find its way because these people will not accept less.
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    The truth causes some people so much pain they can only respond with impotent laughable insults. Life must be rough for those people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Truth View Post
    I'm not sure this should be done to either a cop or an otherwise LAC. Facts of the case should be paramount. House searched? Phone records pulled? Why?
    Indeed.
    meh' whatever the going treatment of civilians investigated for a claimed self defense shooting. Was just throwing some stuff out there.
    I saw the other day a tv pitchman was being forced to allow a search of his home for guns after he was accused of kicking on owl... so who knows.

    http://www.denverpost.com/environmen...oks-gun-search
    "A former TV pitchman in Utah accused of kicking an owl as he rode a motorized paraglider said Tuesday he will allow authorities to search his home for guns.
    Federal Judge Brooke Wells told Schanze the routine search is legal, and he could be arrested if he doesn't allow agents into his home as scheduled Wednesday."
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    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    meh' whatever the going treatment of civilians investigated for a claimed self defense shooting. Was just throwing some stuff out there.
    I saw the other day a tv pitchman was being forced to allow a search of his home for guns after he was accused of kicking on owl... so who knows.

    http://www.denverpost.com/environmen...oks-gun-search
    "A former TV pitchman in Utah accused of kicking an owl as he rode a motorized paraglider said Tuesday he will allow authorities to search his home for guns.
    Federal Judge Brooke Wells told Schanze the routine search is legal, and he could be arrested if he doesn't allow agents into his home as scheduled Wednesday."
    I see.

    So wait, they scheduled a search of his home and gave him multiple days' advance notice? HAH
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator
    So in actuality you have no evidence that anything wrong took place, you only believe that it could be spun to appear wrong. But it hasn't been. The truth has a funny way of coming out with persistence, even if it was spun negatively the truth would find its way because these people will not accept less.
    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    The truth causes some people so much pain they can only respond with impotent laughable insults. Life must be rough for those people.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Truth View Post
    ...So wait, they scheduled a search of his home and gave him multiple days' advance notice? HAH
    Might as well make it so he can tell them what room they aren't allowed to go in, as well.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post

    This does NOT mean they much be shot at first in order to defend themselves.

    There is no "defending" ones self against TOYS, wallets, cell phones, cordless drills, etc.. Police MUST be held to an even higher standard than Citizens.

    ROE reform is completely separate but just as important as removing qualified immunity.

    Police cannot roll into a MWAG call or seeing someone with a "gun"/TOY as they would to report of "shots fired". TOO many people are getting killed negligently because of current ROE.

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    Without qualified immunity?

    Had a former "New Yawk" LEO tell me that, "Well, without it, nobody would work!", that was after he acted as though he had no idea what "qualified immunity" was, and I called him on it.

    The topic also got around to open carry, and he said to the instructor "You know what, when I see those people, I get up and walk out with my family, or if I go in and see them, I just turn around and walk out." I said "Great, you've convinced me to start carrying openly as much as possible now. Guess I won't be seeing you around, huh?"

    The instructor's son is a big open carry advocate, and I believe he is on this board.

    So, without qualified immunity, I'd have trouble believing they would do much of anything, legally that is.

    sidestreet

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    Quote Originally Posted by sidestreet View Post
    Had a former "New Yawk" LEO tell me that, "Well, without it, nobody would work!", that was after he acted as though he had no idea what "qualified immunity" was, and I called him on it.
    .
    And there is the gist.

    It's been said here, and admitted by LEO's. If they are held to the same standards as THE REST OF US, they will walk away. So don't anyone try to say that these are some noble, rare, courageous breed of "public servants".
    They are NOT.


    And thank you for confirming at least one LEO's thought on OC. Many flat out don't like seeing anyone but them ARMED.

    Government is a self fulfilling black prophecy. It will only get bigger and it will only get worse. And it will need enFORCErs to do its bidding.
    America nor its leaders are on a strong cultural/moral/spiritual footing anymore. "Power corrupts, Absolute power corrupts absolutely". That rings 100% true today in this nation.


    Democide, death by Government, has been a reality around this planet to the tune of 260+ million human lives in the last 100 years. Don't let it come here. The Second Amendment is exactly what we have to hold onto to defend against it.
    Last edited by Jeff. State; 01-01-2015 at 08:16 PM.

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    "Qualified Immunity"
    To prevail on a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must prove the defendant deprived the plaintiff of a right protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States while acting under the color of state law. Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980). State laws “cannot create federal constitutional rights actionable under § 1983.” Wilson v. Morgan, 477 F.3d 326, 332 (6th Cir. 2007) (citing Harrill v. Blount Cnty., 55 F.3d 1123, 1125-26 (6th Cir. 1995)).

    The doctrine of qualified immunity shields state actors from § 1983 liability based upon their discretionary acts. Anderson v. Creighton, 483 U.S. 635, 638-40 (1987). Once the defendant raises the qualified immunity defense, the plaintiff bears the burden of proving (1) he was deprived of a constitutionally-protected right (2) that was “so clearly established that a reasonable officer would understand that his or her actions would violate that right.” Thomas v. Cohen, 304 F.3d 563, 569 (6th Cir. 2002) (citing Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818 (1982)); see also Anderson, 483 U.S. at 640 (“[I]n the light of pre-existing law[,] the unlawfulness [of the official’s actions] must be apparent.”).

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    "Qualified Immunity"
    So sad, the burden of proof against bad cops is on the victim.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Truth View Post
    I see.

    So wait, they scheduled a search of his home and gave him multiple days' advance notice? HAH
    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    Might as well make it so he can tell them what room they aren't allowed to go in, as well.
    wait. a guy is having his guns taken away by the state because of a you tube video of him kicking an owl and THATS your comment?!
    "I support the ban on assault weapons" - Donald Trump

    We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission - Ayn Rand

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    Regular Member Maverick9's Avatar
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    If I were able to create a ROE, I would say to each LEO, 'here's your gun. FIND A WAY never to use it, including backing off and just getting an ID, calling in back up, taking initial fire from a distance to assure the suspect is armed - wear a helmet if you need to - and never, ever use your firearm against an unarmed suspect - find a way'.

    I don't think you have to TELL a LEO to shoot to preserve his life or his partner's life. In fact it's pretty safe to say 'never use your firearm' and rely on self-preservation instinct to violate this rule only as needed. Cops are NOT executioners and we have to take big steps to reverse this trend.

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