United States top court declines to hear PLO lawsuit

Ryan Russell

Ryan Russell

He could have at least warned Hughes that if she did not comply he would fire.

In events that unfolded in less than a minute, the officers first rushed the fence, drawing their guns and demanding that Hughes drop the knife.

When they arrived they saw Amy Hughes emerge from her house carrying a large kitchen knife.

Kisela, who later said he was trying to protect Chadwick, opened fire immediately and without warning, hitting Hughes with all four bullets. Anxious that Hughes was threatening Chadwick, one officer, Andrew Kisela, shot her four times through a chain-link fence. However, two other officers on the scene contradict Kisela's claim. Yet instead of letting the case go to a jury, the court has "intervened prematurely, purporting to correct an error that is not at all clear". Ms. Hughes still suffers pain and negative effects from the shooting.

"Hughes was nowhere near the officers, had committed no illegal act, was suspected of no crime, and did not raise the knife in the direction of Chadwick or anyone else", Sotomayor wrote.

"But not Kisela", she said.

The court's decision Monday reverses a 9th Circuit Court ruling in favor of Hughes. He should have realized Hughes was mentally ill and diminished his use of force appropriately, the court said, adding that Hughes "had a constitutional right to walk down her driveway holding a knife without being shot".

The Supreme Court, however, said Kisela was entitled to qualified immunity because there is no prior case setting a precedent that his use of force in this situation would be excessive.

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Since then, April has been a time to acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse .

Although the officers did not know it, the two women were roommates.

"The Supreme Court's decision is a huge disappointment and a bad outcome for victims of global terrorism", Susan Tuchman, director of the Center for Law and Justice at the Zionist Organization of America, told JNS.

The case decided by the Supreme Court stemmed from a May 2010 shooting in Tuscon, Arizona.

The divided court ruled there was enough evidence to show Hughes' roommate was in imminent danger when Kisela shot and wounded her.

Sotomayor looked at the same facts and came to a different conclusion. "Because Kisela plainly lacked any legitimate interest justifying the use of deadly force against a woman who posed no objective threat of harm to officers or others, had committed no crime, and appeared calm and collected during the police encounter", Sotomayor writes, "he was not entitled to qualified immunity".

In March, the U.S. Solicitor General, representing the views of the Trump administration, supported the ruling by the appeals court, saying that while it "sympathizes deeply with the American families", the lawsuit "was not consistent with due process under the Constitution, and its decision does not meet the usual standards for Supreme Court review".

"In holding otherwise", she wrote, "the Court misapprehends the facts and misapplies the law, effectively treating qualified immunity as an absolute shield".

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