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Is the county responsible for the acts of its deputies?

Who is responsible when an on-duty sheriff’s deputy sexually assaults a citizen? The arrest of former Tulsa County Sheriff’s deputy Gerald Nuckolls will test that question. Nuckolls was arrested in September for allegedly assaulting two women while on duty, and the Tulsa World is now reporting that prosecutors have charged Nuckolls in connection with another… read more…

Federal court holds Bosh decision applies beyond jails

In a recent decision from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, the court held that the Oklahoma state constitutional right recognized in Bosh v. Cherokee County Governmental Building Authority, 335 P.3d 904 (Okla. 2013) applies beyond the four walls of a county jail.  In other words, Oklahoma’s state constitutional right… read more…

Did Trooper violate the 4th Amendment in Nowata shooting?

An officer-involved shooting in Nowata, Oklahoma has raised questions about the constitutionality of the Trooper’s conduct, and how a recent decision from the U.S. Supreme Court might impact the investigation into the shooting. On June 16, 2014, a trooper with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol shot a fleeing man.  Based on reports, the man possessed a… read more…

Is Pointing a Gun at a Child Excessive Force?

Depending on the circumstance, pointing a gun at a child can constitute excessive force, even where the person holding the gun never put their hands on the child, and where the child suffered no physical injury. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals addressed this issue in Holland ex rel. Overdorff v. Harrington, 268 F.3d 1179 (10th… read more…

Can Police Shoot to a Fleeing Suspect?

The answer generally depends on what preceded the suspect’s attempt to flee, and whether the police have a reasonable belief that the suspect is dangerous. In Plumhoff v. Rickard, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that police officers may shoot a fleeing suspect in a car who is considered dangerous, and that they may continue shooting… read more…