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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Supreme Court affirms police action in deadly car chase that began in West Memphis

Posted By on Tue, May 27, 2014 at 10:41 AM

The U.S. Supreme Court today said West Memphis police were within their rights in a two-state chase in July 2004 that ended with the deaths of two people. The chase began after questioning at a service station about a broken light. The driver rammed one police car and sideswiped another before being killed in a crash along with a passenger after police fired 15 rounds into the car. The daughter of the driver sued because her father was unarmed and not wanted for a serious offense.

The ruling overturns a decision by the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of appeals that found six West Memphis officers were NOT entitled to qualified immunity from lawsuit.

β€œIt stands to reason that, if police officers are justified in firing at a suspect in order to end a severe threat to public safety, the officers need not stop shooting until the threat has ended,” said the opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito.

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