Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Scott v. Harris

On April 30 of this year, the Supreme Court released their decision in Scott v. Harris. The plaintiff filed suit against Deputy Scott, claiming the use of excessive force and violating the unreasonable seizure under the Fourth Amendment. Scott fled from police leading to a chase that lasted more than 10 miles, which ended when Deputy Scott stuck Scott's car. Scott lost control and crashed, rendering him a quadriplegic. The Court ruled as follows:

The car chase that respondent initiated in this case posed a substantial and immediate risk of serious physical injury to others; no reasonable jury could conclude other-wise. Scott’s attempt to terminate the chase by forcing respondent off the road was reasonable, and Scott is entitled to summary judgment. The Court of Appeals’ decision to the contrary is reversed.

You can read the ruling of the Court HERE.

Summary judgment prevents a full trial. In other words, Scott's claim is without merit. Below is a video of the event that lead to the suit. The crash occurs after the 14:16 mark on the top right.

This is not breaking news by any means, but it is important. As always, I have my opinions. But what do you think?

Send your thoughts to jharrissphillips@gmail.com

Tomorrow I will weigh in...


Anonymous said...

I wrote an article on this subject here: http://www.policeone.com/suspect-pursuit/articles/1242114/


Anonymous said...

The Supreme Court made a dangerous decision in this case. They ruled that a officer may use deadly force ANY TIME somebody flees from the police. How can some one justify the use of deadly force why trying to stop someone from speeding? -That was Harris's original crime. Now I don't think running from the law is a good thing and those who do should be punished accordingly, but the police should not be allowed to kill someone for non-serious offenses.