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Today in legal history...

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Supreme Court upheld police action to end car chase as reasonable
Dwyer Arce at 12:00 AM ET

On April 30, 2007, the US Supreme Court ruled in Scott v. Harris that a police officer who ended a high speed car chase by colliding their cars together acted "reasonably" under the Fourth Amendment. Harris, who was driving the fleeing car, sued Scott after the resulting crash paralyzed him. The court reversed the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruling, holding that "[t]he car chase that respondent initiated in this case posed a substantial and immediate risk of serious physical injury to others; no reasonable jury could conclude otherwise. Scott's attempt to terminate the chase by forcing respondent off the road was reasonable, and Scott is entitled to summary judgment."

Record 36, Exhibit A—video of the car chase that court held "quite clearly contradicts
the version of the story told by respondent and adopted by the Court of Appeals."

Learn more about the Supreme Court and the Fourth Amendment from the JURIST news archive.

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