Thursday, April 21, 2011

What the courts let one cop get away with

In Connecticut, here's what an officer did, according to facts accepted by the appellate court:

  1. in "great rage and anger" threw a traffic ticket onto the driver's chest while the driver was in a hospital bed

  2. after his sergeant tore up the traffic citation, the officer submitted another copy to the police department

  3. arrived at the driver's home at 5:30 am three weeks after the traffic incident, asking for insurance information

  4. refused to provide the driver with a copy of the police report even after telling his department's internal affairs division he would do so
The driver sued the officer alleging emotional distress (among other things). The appellate court concluded that while the officer's behavior may have been "bad manners", it did not rise to the level of inflicting emotional distress.

Behavior in Connecticut must be "extreme and outrageous" to inflict emotional distress.

  • Gee, re-writing a traffic ticket your own sergeant tore up?

  • Banging on a guy's door in the dark, 90 minutes before sunrise, for insurance information?

  • Not supplying a report his own department told him to fork over?
  • Maybe if the officer had shot the guy, the court would have ruled for the driver.

    Nah, people get shot every day. What's outrageous about that?

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