US Supreme Court rejects video evidence | New
Lawyers representing a Muskogee man injured in a 2016 arrest have filed a petition asking the United States Supreme Court to review lower court rulings, dismissing its use of video evidence presented by the defendants.
A 10th US Court of Appeals has recognized that courts “generally accept the complainant’s side of the story” when determining whether qualified immunity is appropriate. But “these facts must find support in the record,” and the appeals court noted that Jeriel “Edwards did not submit any evidence” in opposing the summary judgment at the district court level.
“As far as Edwards asserts a factual version which conflicts with” the video footage and affidavits and officers’ reports “we do not adopt his version. The team of attorneys representing Edwards State in the motion seeking a high court review of that decision contradicts an earlier opinion issued by the United States Supreme Court.
“Given the increasing prevalence of video evidence of civil police disputes…, it is essential to preserve the rights of complainants to have real and material disputes based on video evidence… interpreted by a jury of their peers,” he said. Edwards said. say the lawyers in their petition. “This Court should grant the motion and clarify the appropriate standard for analyzing video evidence in a summary judgment case.”
Edwards filed a complaint in 2018 alleging that current and former Muskogee police officers used excessive force when they arrested him after an encounter in the Wendy’s parking lot on South 32nd Street, depriving him of his constitutional rights . The district court and appeals court judges found that although Edwards sustained injuries from multiple punches, the use of a neck band and a tasers, the force used by the police was “objectively reasonable”.
Edwards was reportedly confused about the police instructions, and US investigating magistrate Steven P. Shreder of the Eastern District of Oklahoma interpreted Edwards’ difficulty understanding as resistance to lawful arrest. This resistance from Edwards justified the use of force by Muskogee Constable Greg Foreman and three other officers who participated in the arrest.
The appeals court, in the footnotes of its 13-page opinion, states that while it “generally accepts the plaintiff’s version of the facts” when determining whether qualified immunity is appropriate, “these facts must be supported by the file ”. The court noted “Edwards did not submit any evidence” in opposing summary judgment at the district court level, therefore “insofar as Edwards asserts a factual version that conflicts with” the video footage and statements. under oath and officers’ reports “we do not adopt his version.” “
Lawyers for Edwards argue that the 10th Circuit’s misapplication of a standard set in a previous Supreme Court “is part of a worrying trend” among appellate courts that are changing “summary judgment standards when the case includes video evidence “. This evidence, they argue, “must be viewed in the most favorable light” to the party opposing summary judgment motions.
In the brief filed on behalf of Edwards in his appeal of the district court decision, lawyers argued that dashcam video of the arrest shows Edwards did not resist the arrest. They argued that Edwards was overpowered when police used the Taser and neckband, “making the officers’ actions a flagrant violation of the Fourth Amendment ban” against the use of excessive force.
The appellate judges weighed these factors against the seriousness of the alleged crime, the immediate threat to officers ‘safety, and Edwards’ active resistance to arrest. The panel determined the factors weighed in favor of the police and the district court’s decision that they were entitled to qualified immunity.
Lawyers for Edwards said the body camera video revealed discrepancies between the versions of events presented by the defendants. They said the court adopted this version of events without considering the video evidence offered by Edwards.