This Cop Wants Qualified Immunity for Fatally Shooting a Passenger in a Fleeing Vehicle
On March 3, 2017, in Hayward, California, Officer Manuel Troche fired nine bullets at the fleeing vehicle of a suspected drunk driver, killing a passenger named Shawn Joseph Jetmore Stoddard-Nunez. An excessive force lawsuit filed by the dead man’s brother has become the latest front in the ongoing legal battle over the controversial doctrine of qualified immunity.
The brother, Jessie Stoddard-Nunez, suffered an early defeat at the hands of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, which said in 2018 that even if Troche was guilty of using excessive force, he was still shielded from being sued because that potential misdeed did not violate “clearly established” law. Under the U.S. Supreme Court’s qualified immunity doctrine, police officers (and other state actors) are entitled to immunity from civil suits arising from their official conduct so long as the conduct that they’re being sued over “does not violate clearly establis
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