Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Unconscious, handcuffed, and zip-tied

Question: Once officers have subdued a potentially violent suspect by rendering him unconscious with a carotid restraint, handcuffing him, and zip-tying him, is it reasonable for those same officers to revive the suspect, strike him more than ten times, and---as he cries out "Oh God, please help me, please help me"---choke him unconscious again with a second carotid restraint?

Answer: Really? Who even needs to ask this question? Four Hutchinson, Kansas police officers, that's who. The Tenth Circuit set those officers straight this week in McCoy v. Meyers, et al., reversing the district court's grant of qualified immunity in Mr. McCoy's civil-rights suit against the officers, and holding that the officers' post-restraint force violated Mr. McCoy's "clearly established right to be free from continued force after he was effectively subdued."

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