Supreme Court Justice Slams Police For “Shoot First, Think Later” Mentality

police-state-swat-when-did-this-become-thisBy Carey Wedler

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court ruled to exonerate a Texas state trooper who, against orders from his superior, lethally fired his gun at a driver involved in a high speed chase. Though the majority opinion argued the officer acted reasonably, Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a scathing dissent against the decision.

The 2010 case involved Israel Leijas Jr., who had had been stopped by a Tulia, Texas, officer and informed he was wanted on a previously issued warrant. Leijas sped away, commencing a chase that reached speeds from 85 to over 100 miles per hour. As the chase began, the initial officer warned that Leijas might be intoxicated.

Leijas reportedly called police multiple times from his cell phone during the chase to warn officers he had a gun and would fire at them if they attempted to capture him.


Though officers planned to put spikes on the road at three different locations in an attempt to halt Leijas’ vehicle, Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Chad Mullenix wanted to shoot directly at the car to stop it. When he radioed his superior, Robert Byrd, to ask for permission, he was told to stand by until the car passed over spikes situated near an overpass where Mullenix was located. Byrd wanted to see if the spikes would effectively stop the vehicle before taking further action.

Moments before the car reached the spikes, however, Mullenix began firing at the vehicle — in direct defiance of Byrd’s orders. The car skidded into the spikes and flipped two and a half times. Though Leijas was killed in the vehicle, authorities determined he had not been killed by the crash, but by Mullenix’s bullets. The officer shot six times, hitting Leijas in the upper body four times.

Leijas’ family sued, arguing Mullenix used excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Mullenix argued he was entitled to the qualified immunity often granted to public officials when they act in the line of duty. Though Mullenix initially prevailed after several court battles, in 2014, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the prior ruling. Instead, it decided Mullenix was not entitled to immunity because the immediacy of the risk Leija posed was disputable.

On Monday, the Supreme Court overturned that decision, finding Mullenix entitled to immunity and therefore exonerated of his charges. In its unsigned per curiam ruling, the court said, “The doctrine of police immunity protects ‘all but the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law,” NBC reported, noting the court added “its previous rulings have never said that the use of deadly force during a dangerous car chase is automatically a constitutional violation.”

That conclusion was likely all but decided before the case even reached the Supreme Court. The court ruled on Mullenix v. Luna using only written briefings. It never heard verbal arguments or conducted a trial, which indicates “a sign that a majority of the justices considered the issue so clear cut that further briefing and courtroom argument were unnecessary,” NBC explained.

Only one justice, Sonia Sotomayor, objected to the opinion — and in doing so, indicted a philosophy that permeates police conduct in the United States.

She first noted that Mullenix “fired six rounds in the dark at a car traveling 85 miles per hour. He did so without any training in that tactic, against the wait order of his superior officers, and less than a second before the car hit spike strips deployed to stop it.”



She argued that had the majority on the court correctly interpreted the case, they would have been left “with no choice but to conclude that Mullenix ignored the longstanding and well-settled Fourth Amendment rule that there must be a governmental interest not just in seizing a suspect, but in the level of force used to effectuate that seizure.”

Sotomayor concluded:

By sanctioning a ‘shoot first, think later’ approach to policing, the Court renders protections of the Fourth Amendment hollow.

In spite of her captivating dissent, the Supreme Court ruling signals an ominous future for further police brutality cases brought before the nation’s highest court.

This article (Supreme Court Justice Slams Cops For “Shoot First, Think Later” Mentality) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Carey Wedler and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email [email protected].


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8 Comments on "Supreme Court Justice Slams Police For “Shoot First, Think Later” Mentality"

  1. That’s a terrible case for a precedent imo, except if it relates to high speed chases. If he hadn’t been ordered to stand down, I wouldn’t have much issue with this, plus I don’t think the cop is in any way prosecutable in the first place, how this one made it to the supreme court is beyond me. If Leijas hadn’t called in to say he had a gun and he wasn’t going 100, different story. Would prefer the officer had followed orders and not been an adrenaline charged violent maniac, but too late for that.

    • Yes, just one more reason why EVERYBODY should derail the entire legal system by exposing the fraud that it is based upon! The next time someone goes into a courtroom, what would happen if they were to present the so-called judge with a legally binding affidavit that at no time at all would they commit nor allow others to commit any kind of fraud? You see, the entire legal system is nothing but a fraud, so they would have to just dismiss the case! What “judge”, if he or she was really honest and unbiased, would refuse to sign such a document?? ONLY the criminals running a scam will not guarantee you that you’re not going to be cheated and back up that promise with some kind of iron clad proof or recourse for you. They will move on to easier pickings every time.

      Randy

      • But… Isn’t that affidavit or contract also only enforceable thru that same legal system? See how it is… 🙂

        • Oh good friggin’ grief!! Of COURSE it wouldn’t get even one inch in the criminal legal system!! But that’s not the point at all, can’t you see that? The whole point is to get them between the rock of do they make a promise in the courtroom that they cannot possibly keep because the ENTIRE legal system is nothing but a fraud, and the hard place of admitting that they DO intend to commit fraud upon you!! It’s sort of like if someone asks you to answer yes or no to the question “Do you still beat your wife?”. If you say “yes”, then you are admitting to currently being a wife beater, and if you answer “no”, then you are admitting that you used to beat your wife. Either way, you will lose status in the eyes of many people for beating your wife. Unless you subscribe to certain religions where men are required to beat their wife into submission. So you have to say (if it’s true that is) “I have never struck my wife at any time”, or something like that.
          So now, after that short digression, what can any so-called judge say to the question of whether they will commit fraud upon you or not? Are they going to say “yes” or “no”? If they say “Yes, I will commit fraud upon you”, then that’s your exit point from The Matrix. And if they say “No, I will not commit fraud upon you”, then that too is your exit point, because you can easily show that they commit fraud on a daily basis, and they just told you a big, fat lie! Is any of this getting through your skull bones? If you still do not grasp the point I am trying to make here, just go back to your regularly scheduled mental programming and drink another beer.

          Randy

          • colinjames71 | November 11, 2015 at 3:36 pm |

            Okay, A) I was being facetious with my reply because I didn’t realize your idea was like some super serious plan,

            B) you’re idea is f*cking retarded. The “when did you stop beating your wife” thing is called the loaded question fallacy. You’re presuming the person is guilty. So your master plan is to get them to sign a document BASED on a logical fallacy… which apparently you don’t even know to call it that. Really? That’s enough right there to just say forget it. Because that’s stupid. But, since you decided to insult me I’ll continue tearing down your absolutely ridiculous, non-starter of a terrible infantile idea to shreds. Just because. How about procedure. Have you researched this? At what point should you submit it? And so on. You can’t just invent a document and force a judge to sign it or throw the case out. It just… doesn’t work that way. You have no power to do that. Doesn’t matter what it says it asks, that’s insane. I don’t know how else to put it. You have zero power to force the judge to sign an autograph much less a document. Then, finally, there’s the fact that every judge, and lawyer too, they ALREADY have to expressly promise that they won’t commit fraud, or any crime, in the course of their duties. Like a witness swears an oath, they more or less take an oath to even attain their positions. I believe there’s an extra layer of oaths for a judge. If they do commit fraud, they get disbarred. If it’s bad enough, and it’s proven, they go to jail. Think of the one in Pennsylvania, taking kickbacks from a private prison. Many many years. But wait, how does a criminal go to jail if “the entire system is based on fraud”? No, it may not work very well, in fact it barely works at all for us non-millionaires. But the system is BASED on being a neutral arbiter of facts- tacitly speaking, fraud-free. And if the other side or the judge DOES commit fraud, you have to prove it anyway, even IF they signed your dumb document. Making it irrelevant, on top of useless, on top of nonsensical, on top of duplicative. And as far as being in the matrix, wow- I’m not defending the system, I’m just aware of how it actually works. You, however, might want to get out of the fantasy world where you can overcome this system and all the power it has with a piece of paper and a loaded question.

          • Yeah, well DUH!! Of course it’s a loaded question, that’s the whole point of it. It’s loaded because it’s easy for anyone who is willing to look, to see the facts for themselves, that the legal system operators are all criminals ripping people off! And they ARE all guilty of committing fraud upon the court! Ever heard of that legal phrase before? Look it up sometime. You’re either a lieyer, some kind of shill/troll or an apologist for the totally corrupted legal system. Maybe all four! You need to read my treatise The Scam of the Legal System sometime, or The Holes in the Legal System.
            I already said that one doesn’t need to get them to sign it, just put the fact that their fraud is showing out in the open and in the court record! That’s why you say at the outset “For the record” at the very beginning of the sham proceedings. And if you’re smart, you’ll hire your own courtroom stenographer to make sure that you are able to get a transcript of what actually is said and by whom.

            WHERE is the logical fallacy?

            Have you ever read The Seven Elements of Jurisdiction? How about the definition of the words contract or fraud in a law dictionary? And if you’re really in the mood for an education in law, read The Maxims of Law sometime. My deceased friend Kent told me several years ago about a lieyer he had known, who won every single case he ever took on by just getting them dismissed! How did he do it? All he’d do is see which maxims of law were being violated, point them out to the so-called judge, and that would be that! But I’m sure you’ll say that’s impossible, without explaining why. Let me tell you this right now, the legal system CANNOT and MUST NOT be exposed as violating its own rules, regulations and procedures. If it does, then their fraud is exposed and it stands completely naked. From WHERE does our obligation to be defrauded come from?? If we have no obligation to endure someone’s fraud, then we are IMMUNE from it. Savvy?

            From where do you get that crap about the maggots in the legal system having already promised that they will not commit fraud? Talk about total delusions! Ever read section 14 of the Corpus Juris Secondum, where it talks about the relationship between the attorney and the client? Yeah, tell me that there’s no fraud at all going on there, Bub.

            These so-called judges NEVER swear a proper oath of office, so they’re committing fraud before they hear even their very first case!
            How does a criminal go to jail if the whole system is corrupted? What a stupid question to ask! People who have not committed ANY kind of a crime at all go to jail all of the time! Why do you think so many people are in them now?

            The system is NOT based upon some noble, but false idea of being a neutral arbiter of facts! If it was, inconvenient evidence would never be suppressed at trial. Jury nullification would be a perfectly acceptable means for people to be found innocent, Mr. Perry Mason wannabe.

            I don’t have to prove fraud was committed except by merely showing that it happened! Again, your ignorance of the meaning of the word fraud shows just how little you really do know about law.

            Think about this now; ANY alleged contract can be vacated for fraud, threat, duress, coercion, mistake, illegality, impossibility, insanity, immorality or minority of age. If even just ONE of the five essential elements of a contract are violated, to any degree at all, then the whole thing is void ab initio.

            Randy

  2. shoot first, think later (we should say nerver) is a US mentality. See what dummy Obombomb do!

  3. Don’t get to excited. If it had been a fed she’d have ruled the other way.

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