WASHINGTON — A unanimous Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with sheriff’s deputies in a legal dispute, which were shot from the year 2010, as a couple of bystanders, while the California-deputies searched for the man.
The judge overturned an award of $4 million in damages to the couple and ordered a lower court to a different view on whether the members could be held liable for the shooting.
The deputies were looking for a parolee when you enter the backyard shack in Lancaster, North of Los Angeles. See an armed man shot, seriously wounded him and his pregnant girlfriend.
But the man was not the suspect they were looking, and as it turned out, he was carrying a BB gun. A Federal appeals court ruled that the deputies are liable because they provoked a violent confrontation by entering the hut without responsibility.
But justice Samuel Alito said, such a “provocation” rule is compatible with force claims under the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. If the officials were a reasonable use of force to defend yourself, Alito said, the court should not go back in time, to see whether the incident was provoked.
The members had previously said they entered the crowded backyard, a man and a woman lived in a hut there, according to court documents. As she opened the door, one of the officers saw a man with a gun, yelled “gun” and two officers fired 15 shots.
The man, Angel Mendez, said that he joined had picked up his BB gun on the officers to move him. As a result of the shooting, Mendez’s leg had to be amputated below the knee. His girlfriend was shot in the back.
Justice Neil from gorsuch, came in the case, which was argued before the high court.