Fourth Amendment principles dating back centuries support liability for an officer’s mistaken execution of a warrant. These principles emphasize the importance of a person’s right to safety in her home; a well-specified warrant; and notice prior to entry. Along these lines, several circuits have held that executing a warrant at the incorrect home amounts to a warrantless search and presumptively violates the Fourth Amendment.
In concert with our legislative advocacy and member education and support, the National Police Accountability Project files amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Courts of Appeals and state appellate courts in cases involving abuses of power by police and corrections officers, as well as other government officials. Our amicus curiae work is motivated by a recognition that positive rulings in significant cases addressing police and corrections officer misconduct stand to create powerful case law that can expand access and avenues to recourse for citizens whose civil rights have been violated.
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This appeal squarely presents the question of whether private entities performing government functions are exempt from vicarious liability under § 1983, a question this Court has yet to decide. The structure, history and rationale underlying § 1983 all indicate that Congress had no intention to eliminate respondeat superior liability for private entities.
Caraway v. City of Pineville et. al. addresses the case of Timothy Caraway, who brought a Section 1983 action against the City of Pineville, the Pineville Police Department, and multiple individual officers alleging numerous violations of his constitutional rights. The District Court granted summary judgement in favor of the Defendants-Appellees, framing self-serving statements made by the police officers involved in the shooting as the true narrative while simultaneously disregarding evidence--including video footage--that contradicted the officers' version of events.
Kirby Ingram alleges that he was peacefully cooperating with the police in the midst of a mental health crisis when an officer, annoyed with Ingram’s erratic behavior, body-slammed him, leaving him in the hospital requiring the fusion of two of his vertebrae and the replacement of another. The complaint alleges both excessive force and disability discrimination twice over—both a failure to accommodate his disability as well as intentional discrimination on the basis of it.
Sharpe v. Winterville Police Department addresses the case of Dijon Sharpe, who was a passenger in a traffic stop where he was threatened with arrest if he continued to Facebook Livestream the stop. In addition to the threat, the officer attempted to confiscate Mr. Sharpe's phone.
This brief argues that the one-year statute of limitations Louisiana applies to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("§ 1983") claims against law enforcement officers is inconsistent with the federal policy underlying §1983 claims. The time-consuming practical and trauma-related challenges individuals experience when attempting to bring a § 1983 action in federal courts in Louisiana is antithetical to the federal policy underlying that statute.
Jonathan Mercedes v. City of New York et. al. involves a false arrest under NY State Mental Hygiene Law Section 9.41. Jonathan Mercedes was arrested by police despite officers observing no action by Mr. Mercedes that indicated that he was a danger to himself or others. The NY State Mental Hygiene Law has received heightened public attention recently, following NYC Mayor Eric Adams' announcement that he intends to use it to forcibly hospitalize unhoused people.
The issue in Roger Wayne Parker v. County of Riverside, et. al. is whether a plaintiff can bring a Section 1983 suit for Brady violations if they aren't ultimately convicted of the crime for which exculpatory evidence was withheld or suppressed.
Our brief focuses on the prejudice innocent individuals experience when exculpatory evidence is withheld, due process protections against withholding exculpatory evidence, and the importance of civil rights cases to deter future Brady violations.
Coalition on Homelessness v. City and County of San Francisco et al challenges San Francisco's policy of towing safely parked cars solely because the owner has 5+ parking tickets. The policy disproportionately harms unhoused people who live in their vehicles. Our brief argues that allowing police to initiate these tows without a warrant violates the Fourth Amendment and elevates the risk of police violence by unnecessarily increasing police contact with the public.
The majority panel’s decision enlarges the realm of police encounters where less lethal force can be applied for a long enough period to become deadly. In light of the number of deaths that result from prolonged police dog maulings, tasings, and restraint holds, immunizing these forms of force against a subdued individual could lead to more avoidable police killings in the Second Circuit. While the majority’s opinion seeks to justify its divergence from other circuits because the officers may have feared a subdued Mr.