Yesterday, 06:42 PM
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear a case with major implications for the Second and Fourth amendments
By Radley Balko March 21
In Monday’s morning links, I noted the story of Andrew Scott, a Florida man who was shot and killed by a police officer who came to his home, pounded on his door and never identified himself as law enforcement. Scott wasn’t suspected of any crime and did nothing illegal during the altercation. What he did do is grab his own gun, which he held pointed at the floor after he was understandably startled by the banging on the door to his apartment. Scott opened the door, saw a figure with a gun and then attempted to close the door. The officer fired six shots, three of which struck Scott, killing him. Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit threw out the lawsuit filed by Scott’s family, finding that the officer who killed Scott is protected by qualified immunity, the court-invented doctrine that makes it nearly impossible to sue police officers, even for egregiously over-the-top use of force that ends in death.
As Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern points out, this is something that should worry not just Fourth Amendment advocates, but also those who care about the Second Amendment. Citing the dissent written by 11th Circuit appeals court Judge Beverly Martin, Stern writes: