Published on: Monday, December 20, 2021

An Elizabeth, N.J., police officer must face an excessive-force claim filed by a suspect he shot as the man continued to elude police after a high-speed chase, the Third Circuit ruled Thursday. Third Circuit: Cops can't just go around shooting motorists simply for fleeing a traffic stop. So no qualified immunity for the officer who shot a driver in the arm. A jury will have to decide if the officer reasonably believed officers or the public were in danger sufficient to justify deadly force. Three-judge concurrence: The officer violated department policy, and it's reasonable to hold officers accountable when they do that.

The case is Devin Jefferson v. George Lias; City of Elizabeth, No. 20-2526 (3d Cir. Dec. 16, 2021).