Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Ruled That Law Enforcement Officers Who Let 18-Year-Old Die in Their Custody Were Protected by Qualified Immunity

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In her time on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Trump’s pick for the high court, Amy Coney Barrett, ruled that police officers who allowed a Black teenager to die in their custody after he repeatedly expressed visible signs of distress and difficulty breathing were protected from a civil suit by qualified immunity. 

The family’s representatives in the case, Shanika Day v. Franklin Wooten, argued that the ruling Barrett signed onto could set a “dangerous” precedent for civil cases against police misconduct and unfairly placed the burden of proof on the dead victim, 18-year-old Terrell Day. 

“There is so much we still don’t know about Amy Coney Barrett because she has been less than one hundred percent forthcoming with the Senate about her past and refused to release her records from Notre Dame. That said, what we are learning about her public record as a judge is deeply disturbing,” said Kyle Herrig, president of government watchdog Accountable.US. “The family of Terrell Day deserved justice for his death, instead Coney Barrett decided Mr. Day had no legal right to have his continued complaints about not being able to breathe addressed by the officers holding him in custody. This sort of judgment is dangerous, and it does not belong in the high court.”

In a year when the public’s attention has rightly focused on widespread police brutality in the U.S., Trump nominated a judge for a spot on the highest court in the nation who, according to a recent Accountable.US analysis, sided with policing interests 86% of the time when law enforcement actions were at issue during her time on the Seventh Circuit.

Read more about Barrett’s failure to side with those alleging harm at the hands of law enforcement here.


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