Colorado Politics: Civil rights attorneys are renewing calls to abolish the judicially-created shield for police, after the Colorado-based federal appeals court awarded immunity to Denver officers accused of violating a man’s First Amendment rights, even after their training put them on notice about those rights.
In doing so, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit on Monday disregarded the First Amendment training for Denver police personnel who allegedly attempted to delete a video from a bystander’s device — footage that showed them punching a suspect. Instead, a three-judge panel concluded that only judges could say what actions violate constitutional rights.
The “actual knowledge that [officers] purportedly gained from such non-judicial sources,” wrote Judge Jerome A. Holmes, does not supersede “judicial decisions [that] concretely and authoritatively define the boundaries of permissible conduct in a way that government-employer training never can.”
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