SCOTUS Makes it Easier to Sue Police when Criminal Charges are Dropped

    Image copyright: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg [via The Washington Post]

    The Facts

    • The Supreme Court on Monday ruled New York man Larry Thompson can sue police and the government for malicious prosecution, even though he is yet to be acquitted.

    • He was arrested after a relative with cognitive delays called 911 claiming Thompson was sexually abusing his newborn. Police arrived without a warrant and charged Thompson with resisting arrest.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    This is a huge win for civil rights. Those who have been wrongly prosecuted now can take action. Though cops still have many protections, such as qualified immunity, it will be easier to pursue corrupt police and hold them accountable for their actions in the line of duty.

    Narrative B

    SCOTUS has combined a Fourth Amendment unreasonable seizure claim and a common-law malicious-prosecution claim, along with lower-court rulings, to formulate an off-base and confusing decision.

    Sign up to our daily newsletter