Many people throughout New Mexico and the rest of the nation have understandable concerns about police officers using excessive force. With that in mind, a recent ruling by the United States Supreme Court might make excessive force instances a thing of the past.
The details behind the case
In 2014, a woman was sitting in her parked car outside of the apartment complex she called home. During this time, four police officers arrived at this complex and began approaching her vehicle. Assuming they were carjackers, the woman put her vehicle in gear and fled the scene.
Seeing her drive away, two police officers fired a total of 13 shots into the automobile; two shots landed in her back. The next day, she went to a local hospital for treatment where she was subsequently arrested. Soon after this incident, she received criminal convictions for fleeing the scene. This would lead to numerous claims of civil rights violations.
The Supreme Court’s ruling
With a 5-3 decision in favor of the woman, she pursued her case against two officers from the New Mexico State Police. She claims these officers violated the fourth amendment of the United States Constitution concerning a ban on illegal searches.
The court ruled that a physical seizure from law enforcement isn’t the only way for a fourth amendment violation to have taken place. This new ruling sets a precedent that could help those whose civil rights have been violated in the future.