Posts Tagged ‘Tennessee vs Garner’

This week, officers in DC shot and killed a woman who rammed a barrier at the White House with her car and then lead police on a chase near some Capitol buildings. The woman was reportedly unarmed, as it turned out, which raises the question for some as to whether police can legally shoot a person under such circumstances.

Fox News Report

In general, the police cannot shoot a fleeing felon simply to prevent their escape. But, there are important exceptions to this restriction.

In 1985, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Tennesse v. Garner that a state law authorizing police officers to use “all force necessary,” including deadly force, to apprehend a fleeing individual was unconstitutional.

Deadly force in that context, the court decided, was a violation of the fleeing person’s Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful seizure.

They further concluded, however, that an officer “may use deadly force to prevent escape only if the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.”

This week’s vids provide some examples to consider. Note, however, that these cases may or may not be justified shootings. That’s for the courts and juries to officially decide, not me or youtube.

Take a look and decide for yourself, though.

Iowa Police Shooting

Wisconsin Police Shooting

Have a safe weekend!

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