Court Rules That Police Can Inflict Pain On Detained Individuals

Yahoo News

Police across the country have often been caught using excessive force during arrests and other confrontations. Even when such incidents are captured on video, officers are often able to escape punishment or other consequences. Such appears to be the case yet again. In a controversial ruling, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that an officer who admitted to twisting a teenage girl’s arms to cause her pain did not violate the law in his actions. 

The officer admitted to purposely hurting the teenage girl.

The case at the center of the controversial ruling involves Fort Worth, Texas, resident Jacqueline Craig and her young child. In 2016, Craig called the police to report an assault committed against her then-7-year-old son. Craig said that a neighbor choked the child for “littering” after the young boy had dropped raisins in the neighbor’s yard. But when Officer William Martin showed up on the scene, he berated Craig and her child.

Martin ended up violently arresting the mother and her 19-year-old daughter, Brea Hymond, who intervened in the argument. In the process, Martin purposely hyperextended Hymond’s handcuffed arms, and he admits he did intend to force her to tell him her name and age after she initially refused to do so. Video footage of the encounter between the Craig family and Martin was eventually released online, showing the confrontation that also saw Martin using violence against Craig’s other underage teenage children during the encounter.

The appeals court shot down the family lawsuit and upheld qualified immunity.

The Craig family understandably sued Martin for violating the rights of Craig and her daughter. The lawsuit made its way up through the courts and was initially allowed despite Martin’s claim of qualified immunity, the principle that exempts police officers from consequences for most acts of violence they commit while in the line of duty.

The Fifth Circuit ruling reversed a lower court’s decision and accepted Martin’s claim of qualified immunity in the incident. The court’s ruling also ruled that Martin did not violate Craig’s Fourth Amendment rights. The Fourth Amendment guarantees the right of people “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” and is one of the most important protections against police overstep. Because Martin did not cause permanent injury to Hymond, the judges ruled his actions did not rise to the level of a constitutional violation.

A dangerous precedent was set by the court.

By ruling that Martin’s intentional use of physical pain did not violate the limitations of the Constitution, the ruling potentially opens the door for police to use increasingly coercive tactics to gain confessions or other information from suspects. Given the many cases of police brutality and even torture that have been documented over the years, any encouragement that police use violence against already detained individuals will likely lead to even greater abuses.

Experts hope that the full Fifth Circuit will overturn the ruling of the three-judge panel. Alternatively, the Supreme Court, which has overruled the Fifth Circuit in other cases, may ultimately be called upon to reconsider this case as well. Either way, there is still hope that the judicial system could deliver justice for the Craig family and in the process protect Americans from police brutality.

10 thoughts on “Court Rules That Police Can Inflict Pain On Detained Individuals

  1. So the court is essentially saying police abuse is OK. Cops are already sadistic and psychologically deranged enough and this ruling allows them to run unchecked. I guess those judges didn’t read our Constitution which protects against cruel and inhumane treatment…

    1. No.
      What they didn’t read, or what they read and didn’t give a shit about, is the Bill of Rights, which is the law they violated and continue to violate as a private standing blackwater army.

    2. the constitution is irrelevant. don’t ever say it again.. seriously. I’m not chastising you.. the constitution is their law of the sea.. in accordance with the UCC.. Uniform Commercial Code.. the Bill of Rights A WHOLLY SEPARATE document is supreme Law of the Land ATTACHED to the constitution.. not IN it. the Bill of Rights SUPERCEDES the constitution.. making it irrelevant and non existent to the People. the constitution outlines privileges and immunities GIVEN by government. the Bill of Rights outlines NATURAL RIGHTS that you are born with. they can’t be given or taken. even if you choose not to exercise your rights.. you still have them. NOTHING they do is Law. EVERYTHING in the Bill of Rights IS Law. Law is upheld.. Policy is enFORCED. everything they do is fraud and deceit backed by force. that’s all they have and that’s all that’ll stop them. no more praying voting peacefulling.. that’s what got us here! the supreme court has said pOlice have no obligation to protect you. they also said pOlice don’t have to know the law.. meaning they can arrest you for being left handed if they THINK left hands is a crime.. now they’re ALLOWED to beat on us.. I think they’ve made their position clear. time to get rid of em.. By Any Means Necessary!

  2. If you beat on me
    I’ll just stab yer mother in the eye with a fork
    For every action , there’s an equal and opposite reaction

    Theory of relativity
    One of your relatives is gonna get hurt
    Why believe in diversity when disappearance is an option

    1. that’s right.. I’m not getting out of car. I’m not being searched and i WILL NEVER be handcuffed again .

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