The public interest involved in the use of deadly force as a last resort to apprehend a fleeing burglary suspect relates primarily to the serious nature of the crime. It dismissed the claims against the Mayor and the Director for lack of evidence. This conclusion made a determination of Garner's apparent dangerousness unnecessary. Because one of the factors is the extent of the intrusion, it is plain that reasonableness depends on not only when a seizure is made, but also how it is carried out. Justia Annotations is a forum for attorneys to summarize, comment on, and analyze case law published on our site. The use of deadly force also frustrates the interest of the individual, and of society, in judicial determination of guilt and punishment. Garner was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he died on the operating table.
As applied in such circumstances, the Tennessee statute would pass constitutional muster. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is affirmed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. With the aid of a flashlight, Hymon was able to see Garner's face and hands. For example, Tennessee does not outlaw fleeing from arrest. Garner stopped by a chain-link fence. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court.
The officer's use of force resulted because the suspected burglar refused to heed this command and the officer reasonably believed that there was no means short of firing his weapon to apprehend the suspect. The court did find, however, that Garner appeared to be unarmed, though Hymon could not be certain that was the case. The Holding and Analysis of the Supreme Court The Supreme Court held that the use of deadly force against a suspect did constitute a seizure under the Fourth Amendment. Garner case can be used as precedent in justifying the use of deadly force while she was fleeing. The Tennessee statute is unconstitutional insofar as it authorizes the use of deadly force against such fleeing suspects. I doubt that the Court intends to allow criminal suspects who successfully escape to return later with 1983 claims against officers who used, albeit unsuccessfully, deadly force in their futile attempt to capture the fleeing suspect.
We hold that the statute is invalid insofar as it purported to give Hymon the authority to act as he did. We are unaware of any data that would permit sensible evaluation of this claim. The suspect was a minor, had a slight build, and was not armed. Relying on the Fourth Amendment, the majority asserts that it is constitutionally unreasonable to use deadly force against fleeing criminal suspects who do not appear to pose a threat of serious physical harm to others. C In evaluating the reasonableness of police procedures under the Fourth Amendment, we have also looked to prevailing rules in individual jurisdictions. Garner crouched next to a 6-foot-high fence.
Thus, the majority opinion portends a burgeoning area of Fourth Amendment doctrine concerning the circumstances in which police officers can reasonably employ deadly force. The precise issue before the Court deserves emphasis, because both the decision below and the majority obscure what must be decided in this case. Smith, 127 Iowa at 535, 103 N. Code 16-3-21 a 1984 ; Ill. We do not deny the practical difficulties of attempting to assess the suspect's dangerousness. It is worth noting that, notwithstanding its awareness of this problem, the Commission itself proposed a policy for use of deadly force arguably even more stringent than the formulation we adopt today. The rules in the States are varied.
Garner's father then brought this action in the Federal District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, seeking damages under 42 U. Hymon fired, striking him in the head; the young man fell, draped over the fence. In recent years, some States have reviewed their laws and expressly rejected abandonment of the common law rule. The district court was instructed to consider whether the municipality was entitled to qualified immunity because its policies had been set in accordance with state law, and if not, whether the use of deadly force to capture nondangerous fleeing felons was constitutionally permissible. The Court of Appeal for the Sixth Circuit, and remanded. Pugh, , 114 1975 ; Carroll v.
The District Court held that the statute and the officer's actions were constitutional. While we agree that burglary is a serious crime, we cannot agree that it is so dangerous as automatically to justify the use of deadly force. He ordered the suspect to halt, and when the suspect refused to obey and attempted to flee into the night, the officer fired his weapon to prevent escape. Thus, if the suspect threatens the officer with a weapon or there is probable cause to believe that he has committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm, deadly force may be used if necessary to prevent escape, and if, where feasible, some warning has been given. Although the circumstances of this case are unquestionably tragic and unfortunate, our constitutional holdings must be sensitive both to the history of the Fourth Amendment and to the general implications of the Court's reasoning. Where a police officer has probable cause to arrest a suspected burglar, the use of deadly force as a last resort might well be the only means of apprehending the suspect. The court considered the generalized interest in effective law enforcement sufficiently compelling only when the the suspect is dangerous.
The same balancing process applied in the cases cited above demonstrates that, notwithstanding probable cause to seize a suspect, an officer may not always do so by killing him. The precise issue before the Court deserves emphasis, because both the decision below and the majority obscure what must be decided in this case. . In the event, however, the Court finds that the fleeing felon rule does not violate the fourth or fourteenth amendments and reverses the Sixth Circuit, opponents of deadly force will be left with two options: to accept the Court's ruling or find a new constitutional theory with which to attack the laws. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded. Garner crouched next to a 6-foot-high fence. The fact is that a majority of police departments in this country have forbidden the use of deadly force against nonviolent suspects.
The officers ordered Garner to stop, but Garner refused. If so, when is a law enforcement officer entitled to use deadly force against a suspect? Garner then began to climb over the fence. The police officer was not certain whether the suspect was alone or unarmed; nor did he know what had transpired inside the house. Analysis of the deadly force rule in the context of the mandates of the fourth, eighth, and fourteenth amendments clearly indicates that the use of deadly force against a nonviolent fleeing felon is unconstitutional. The District Court concluded that Hymon was justified in shooting Garner because state law allows, and the Federal Constitution does not forbid the use of deadly force to prevent the escape of a fleeing felony suspect if no alternative means of apprehension is available.
It is insisted that the Fourth Amendment must be construed in light of the common-law rule, which allowed the use of whatever force was necessary to effect the arrest of a fleeing felon, though not a misdemeanant. The legitimate interests of the suspect in these circumstances are adequately accommodated by the Tennessee statute: to avoid the use of deadly force and the consequent risk to his life, the suspect need merely obey the valid order to halt. The intrusiveness of a seizure by means of deadly force is unmatched. The legitimate interests of the suspect in these circumstances are adequately accommodated by the Tennessee statute: to avoid the use of deadly force and the consequent risk to his life, the suspect need merely obey the valid order to halt. Murphy, 1973 , an unannounced entry into a home to prevent the destruction of evidence, Ker v. Whether that seizure was reasonable and therefore permitted by the Fourth Amendment requires a careful balancing of the important public interest in crime prevention and detection and the nature and quality of the intrusion upon legitimate interests of the individual. See also Restatement of Torts 131, Comment g 1934 burglary is among felonies that normally cause or threaten death or serious bodily harm ; R.