Plaintiff’s claim that he was wrongfully stopped and searched, finding nothing, and had his newly acquired car torn apart on the side of the road still led to the officer getting qualified immunity. This case is an historical and practical plea to end judicially made qualified immunity. Jamison v. McClendon, 3:16-cv-00595-CWR-LRA (S.D. Miss. Aug. 4, 2020)*:
In a recent qualified immunity case, the Fourth Circuit wrote:
Although we recognize that our police officers are often asked to make split-second decisions, we expect them to do so with respect for the dignity and worth of black lives. This Court agrees. Tragically, thousands have died at the hands of law enforcement over the years, and the death toll continues to rise. Countless more have suffered from other forms of abuse and misconduct by police. Qualified immunity has served as a shield for these officers, protecting them from accountability.
This Court is required to apply the law as stated by the Supreme Court. Under that law, the officer who transformed a short traffic stop into an almost two-hour, life-altering ordeal is entitled to qualified immunity. The officer’s motion seeking as much is therefore granted.
But let us not be fooled by legal jargon. Immunity is not exoneration. And the harm in this case to one man sheds light on the harm done to the nation by this manufactured doctrine. As the Fourth Circuit concluded, “This has to stop.”
Reason: Did Judge Reeves Reach the Correct Result in Jamison v. McClendon by Orin Kerr (“A blistering criticism, but I’m not sure this was the right case for it.”) Me neither.