Tennessee v. Garner 1985 Essay

802 Words 4 Pages
Name: Tennessee v. Garner

Citation: No. 83-1035, 83-1070 (1985)

Facts: On October 3, 1974, Memphis Police Officers Hymon and Wright were dispatched to answer a “prowler inside call.” When the police arrived at the scene, a neighbor gestured to the house where she had heard glass breaking and that someone was breaking into the house. While one of the officer radioed that they were on the scene, the other officer went to the rear of the house hearing a door slam and saw someone run across the backyard. The suspect, Edward Garner stopped at a 6-feet-high fence at the edge of the yard and proceeded to climb the fence as the police officer called out “police, halt.” The police officer figured that if Garner made it over
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Procedure: Garner’s father brought the action the police officer took in the Federal District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, looking for violations that were made of Garner’s constitutional rights. The complaint was alleged that the shooting of Garner violated the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. After a three day trial, the District Court entered judgement for all defendants. It dismissed the claims against the defendants as being the mayor and Officer Hymon and the Police Department as being the director for lack of evidence. Hymon’s actions were then concluded to being constitutional by being under the Tennessee statute. The Court of Appeals affirmed with regard to Hymon, finding that he had acted accordingly to the Tennessee statute. The Court of Appeals then reversed and remanded. It reasoned that the killing of a fleeing suspect is “seizure” under the Fourth Amendment, and is therefore constitutional only if actions are reasonable. In this case the actions were found not to be reasonable. Officers cannot use deadly force unless they have probable cause that the suspect poses a serious threat to the officer or has committed a felony.

Issue: Garner, the suspect’s father brought forth that his unarmed son was wrongfully shot by a police officer as his son was fleeing from the burglary of an unoccupied house. He proposed a
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