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Saturday, November 14, 2015

SONYA SOTOMAYOR; SUPREME COURT ENDORSING A SHOOT FIRST, THINK LATER APPROACH FOR COPS


The Supreme Court set another killer cop free in Texas. But Sonya Sotomayor wrote a great dissent

Back Story: A cop named Mullinex asked if he could stop a car by shooting out the engine block while it was going 85 or 100 miles per hour (I dunno fast) without knowing if that would even work or if he could do it.

Supervisor said, "Stand by" and "Let's see if the spike strips work."


Mullinex shot at the car anyway and killed the driver


Mullinex said he was scared for the other officers safety or something. Cops are always scared when they put 4 bullets into somebody without a gun. I think the dead guy had offered some verbal threats. But the supervisor said wait. Later, Mullinex offered a flippant joke just after he killed somebody which is disturbing by itself


From Sotomayor's dissent

When Mullenix confronted his superior officer after the shooting, his first words were, “How’s that for proactive?” Ibid. (Mullenix was apparently referencing an earlier counseling session in which Byrd suggested that he was not enterprising enough. Ibid.)

The glib comment does not impact our legal analysis; an officer’s actual intentions are irrelevant to the Fourth Amendment’s “objectively reasonable” inquiry. See Graham v. Connor, 490 U. S. 386, 397 (1989). But the comment seems to me revealing of the culture this Court’s decision supports when it calls it reasonable—or even reasonably reasonable—to use deadly force for no discernible gain and over a supervisor’s express order to “stand by.”

By sanctioning a “shoot first, think later” approach to policing, the Court renders the protections of the Fourth Amendment hollow. For the reasons discussed, I would deny Mullenix’s petition for a writ of certiorari. I thus respectfully dissent. 


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sotomayor-supreme-court-cop-violence_563cee79e4b0307f2cad466a