Manuel v. Joliet: Blocking the Courthouse Door to Victims of Police Misconduct

With charges of police misconduct increasingly in the spotlight, it is important that individuals who may be aggrieved by such misconduct have lawful avenues to hold police accountable. On the third day of its October Term (October 5, 2016), the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument to decide whether an Illinois man, wrongfully arrested and charged with a crime, can be blocked from suing a city for its violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. In March 2011, Elijah Manuel was riding in a car with his brother when the police pulled them over – allegedly for failure to signal a turn.  Using racial epithets as they dragged the brothers from the car, the officers took Manuel to the ground, beat and kicked him, and then ripped apart the car, searching for anything illegal but nothing in particular.  There is evidence that the police had previously targeted Manuel and his brother for harassment.  The police did manage to find a bottle of vitamins in...(Read Full Article)