There’s an informative contribution to the discussion of the events unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri from Robert Verbruggen at RealClearPolicy. You can read the relatively brief post yourself but here’s a summary:
- The Ferguson police officer whose killing of a young man was the spark that set off the days of demonstrations and riots was apparently acting within Missouri state law and official guidelines.
- The state law and guidelines are an implementation of the “fleeing felon” rule.
- The “fleeing felon” rule was deemed unconstitutional 30 years ago in Tennessee v. Garner.
The point here is that it’s quite possible that a criminal suit brought against the police officer in Missouri would fail but would prevail in the federal court of appeals.