Bland v. Newark 3rd CIR (15AUG2018)

Bland v. Newark 3rd CIR (15AUG2018)

The plaintiff alleged excessive use of force in this 42 U.S.C. 1983 action and sought damages for injuries he sustained from being shot 16 times by law enforcement officers. The District Court denied the officers qualified immunity but the Third Circuit reversed holding the “officers’ conduct was within the bounds of the Supreme Court’s relevant decisions regarding the use of lethal force.”  The plaintiff, who was driving a car that was carjacked at gunpoint, reckless fled from police at excessively high rates of speed and endangering those on the road.  After ramming a police car and coming to a complete stop, the plaintiff refused to surrender, and then took off in the car again.   After officers forced the car off the road and into scaffolding, the plaintiff refused to surrender, would not show his hands, and threatened to kill the officers present who then opened fire on him.  The Court held that “The Supreme Court has consistently held that officers either did not violate the Fourth Amendment or were entitled to qualified immunity when they used deadly force during car chases similar to the one at issue here.

To view or download the full decision click here.