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White v. Pauly, 16-67

In a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 case, alleging excessive use of force by police violated plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights, which addresses the situation of an officer who -- having arrived late at an ongoing police action and having witnessed shots being fired by one of several individuals in a house surrounded by other officers -- shoots and kills an armed occupant of the house without first giving a warning, the petition of certiorari is granted and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decision denying qualified immunity to the officer is reversed and remanded where: 1) clearly established federal law does not prohibit a reasonable officer who arrives late to an ongoing police action in circumstances like this from assuming that proper procedures, such as officer identification, have already been followed; and 2) no settled Fourth Amendment principle requires that officer to second-guess the earlier steps already taken by his or her fellow officers in instances like the one defendant confronted here.

Appellate Information

  • Decided
  • Published 2017/01/09




  • United States Supreme Court


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