Supreme Court on liability in police high speed chases

The Supreme Court today ruled that police officers are free from liability in speedy car chases. As David Hardy points out, what is even more interesting than the conclusion in this case is Scalia's opinion:

"Indeed, reading the lower court’s opinion, one gets the impression that respondent, rather than fleeing from police, was attempting to pass his driving test..."

"Justice Stevens hypothesizes that these cars “had already pulled to the side of the road or were driving along the shoulder because they heard the police sirens or saw the flashing lights,” so that “[a] jury could certainly conclude that those motorists were exposed to no greater risk than persons who take the same action in response to a speeding ambulance.” Post, at 3. It is not our experience that ambulances and fire engines careen down two-lane roads at 85-plus miles per hour, with an unmarked scout car out in front of them." . . .

David Hardy also points to what is a first, the Supreme Court providing a video tape link to the chase scene tape.

""Justice Stevens suggests that our reaction to the videotape is somehow idiosyncratic, and seems to believe we are misrepresenting its contents. See post, at 4 (dissenting opinion) (“In sum, the factual statements by the Court of Appeals quoted by the Court … were entirely accurate”). We are happy to allow the videotape to speak for itself. See Record 36, Exh. A, available at http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/video/scott_v_harris.rmvb and in Clerk of Court’s case file."



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