Decades ago, the Supreme Court legislated qualified immunity into existence. And today, they dealt a major blow to anyone who was hoping for reform.

I wrote about why that matters. 🧵…
Qualified immunity allows state actors to violate your rights if the *exact* way in which they do so has not been ruled unconstitutional in a prior court ruling.

It's shielded cops who shot kids, stole huge sums of $$, & destroyed property. List goes on.…
The idea behind qualified immunity is that no reasonable cop can be expected to know when they cross a constitutional line, unless there's an identical precedent outlining that misbehavior.

How on earth can we expect cops to know stealing is wrong???…
The Supreme Court recently seemed willing to rein in qualified immunity & the ridiculous idea that victims must find a matching precedent.

They overturned a ruling giving QI to prison guards who locked a naked inmate in cells covered in feces & sewage.…
SCOTUS overturned *another* qualified immunity decision earlier this year, after a corrections officer pepper-sprayed an inmate for the fun of it. That he ever received it in the first place tells you everything you need to know about qualified immunity.…
But today, the Court gave qualified immunity to cops accused of brutality—overturning two decisions that did *not* give them the protections.

There were no identical precedents on the books, SCOTUS said, so the plaintiffs are out of luck.…
This is the most nefarious part of qualified immunity. Just ask Amy Corbitt, who wasn't allowed to sue the cop who shot & badly injured her 10-year-old child.

The court said the cop was wrong (obviously). But there was no identical precedent. Can't sue.…
This shouldn't be partisan. Sonia Sotomayor, one of the Supreme Court's more liberal justices, is an outspoken critic of qualified immunity.

The louder critic: Clarence Thomas, the most conservative justice.…
Qualified immunity is a disgrace. Congress won't do anything about it. And the Supreme Court, which created it out of nowhere, has just (in some sense) strengthened it.

It should not be this hard to hold the gov't to account when they violate your rights.…

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More from @billybinion

13 Oct
A warden allegedly raped his cousin-in-law multiple times on prison grounds. A corrupt prosecutor worked to cover it up.

And the victim can't do anything about it. Here's a story on the type of gov't abuse that so often goes unnoticed.

My latest @reason:…
Priscilla Lefebure says she was raped multiple times by Barrett Boeker, an assistant warden at Louisiana State Penitentiary. Boeker was arrested after a medical exam corroborated an assault.

But he was mysteriously never indicted.…
Here's where it gets even more infuriating, if that were possible.

The local DA, Samuel D'Aquilla, allegedly refused to examine her rape kit. He refused to meet her to discuss the case. And he refused to call any witnesses who could corroborate her story.…
Read 5 tweets
12 Oct
Matthew Shepard's death was tragic. It's also very unlikely that his murder had anything to do with the fact that he was part of the LGBTQ community.

Telling the correct version of history is vital, even when it might be inconvenient for your cause. A thread.
Shepard died a gruesome death: tied to a fence & set on fire. A narrative quickly formed that he had been targeted because he was gay.

But later reporting would suggest that at least 1 of his murderers also slept with men, & that they actually had beef with Shepard over drugs. ImageImage
Shepard's death in 1998 created a kind of perfect storm. Wyoming, where he lived, had just failed to pass a hate crime law. The media immediately drew that connection.

And they've run with it ever since. Please read this by @ENBrown… ImageImage
Read 7 tweets
11 Oct
An agent of the state killed an innocent man while responding to a prank call in Wichita. Andrew Finch opened his door & in 10 seconds he'd been shot dead by a sniper. No one rendered medical aid for 30 minutes.

The city can't be sued.

My latest @reason:…
The Wichita police sergeant who organized the response violated department policy & failed to issue any warnings prior to the fatal shot.

He got qualified immunity.…
The most disturbing part of the court's decision: The city can't be sued bc there is no pattern of "jury verdicts" against the Wichita Police Dept.

In other words, because the gov't fights to shield themselves from accountability, you're out of luck.…
Read 5 tweets
8 Sep
Karen Garner was 73 years old when police threw her to the ground, broke her arm, and dislocated her shoulder while arresting her for stealing $13.88 from Wal-Mart.

The city will pay her $3 million. Let's talk about accountability.

My latest @reason:…
First things first: Let us acknowledge how absolutely absurd it is that a 73-year-old—who has dementia—needed to be violently arrested & assaulted because she stole $13.88 worth of merchandise.

It's not about safety.…
Former Officer Austin Hopp repeatedly pushed Garner's contorted left arm—which was handcuffed—above her head as she screamed.

He then joked about it with his colleagues, which @cjciaramella wrote about here. "I love it," he said.

Do you feel safer?…
Read 5 tweets
9 Aug
I wrote about that viral video of a cop supposedly overdosing by touching fentanyl—a medically impossible feat—& the perils of media regurgitating state claims without scrutiny.

Recycling a police press release is not journalism.

My latest @reason:…
Media outlets—local, national, & international—jumped all over this video, released by @SDSheriff.

A sampling of headlines from @CNN, @Newsweek, @sacbee_news, & @Independent
What most every publication left out: You cannot overdose on fentanyl by touching it.

What about airborne transmission? It takes 200 minutes for unmasked workers who produce fentanyl to register a dose of 100 mcg, which is still not an overdose.…
Read 9 tweets
4 Aug
This is an absolute horror story. These 3 Missouri men are serving life sentences for separate crimes that the government concedes they *did not commit*.

It still won't release them from prison.

My latest @reason:…
Christopher Dunn was convicted of murder in 1991 based on the testimony of two kids. They later recanted & said the state coerced their testimony.

Last fall, a federal judge ruled Dunn is innocent. He's still behind bars.…
...thanks to a Missouri Supreme Court precedent, which says that only death row inmates can make such claims of innocence in court proceedings.

In other words, had Dunn been sentenced to die for the crime he didn't commit, he would now be a free man.…
Read 7 tweets

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