Supreme Court Grants Qualified Immunity to Officer Who Fatally Shot Fleeing Suspect from Overpass

In Mullenix v. Luna, No. 14-1143 (U.S. Nov. 9, 2015), the Supreme Court afforded qualified immunity to an officer accused of excessive force when he shot and killed a fleeing, intoxicated suspect from an overpass.  The suspect led officers on an 18-minute chase at speeds of up to 110 miles-per-hour, and twice called 911 and told them that he had a gun and threatened to shoot at the pursuing officers. The Court held that the officer did not violate a clearly established Fourth Amendment right under the circumstances:  the officer confronted an intoxicated, fleeing fugitive who had twice threatened to shoot police officers and was moments away from encountering other officers at the overpass.

Tags: Case Update, Government Liability