Latest News

What to know about injuries caused by fireworks

As we wrap up another July 4th celebration, most of us are a little sluggish the next day due to fireworks continuing late into the night. For others, the long term consequences of their July 4th celebrations are far more serious with long lasting injuries. The vast majority of fireworks injuries occur where an individual inadvertently… read more…

City settles case of extended stop

This month the City of Checotah settled a case alleging its police officer unlawfully extended a traffic stop in violation of Rodriguez v. United States. In Rodriguez the Supreme Court held that police cannot prolong a routine traffic stop to conduct an investigation that is unrelated to the mission of the stop itself. In other… read more…

Court: Fido is an “effect” under the Fourth

Can a police officer violate the Fourth Amendment by shooting your dog? On Monday the Tenth Circuit joined a growing number of appellate courts that have answered the question in the affirmative. In Mayfields v. Bethards, two deputies left their patrol car, entered the Mayfield’s property without a warrant, approached the porch and shot their Malmute… read more…

Court: Jury Could Conclude Jailers Acted Recklessly

In an opinion released today in Wright v. Stanley, the Tenth Circuit held that a jury could find that two jailers acted recklessly when they placed an arrestee into an already overcrowded cell while they looked for another place for him. The inmates in the cell told the jailers that five minutes “won’t work.” After… read more…

Court: “Law not clearly established”; refuses to clarify law

On Tuesday the Tenth Circuit issued its opinion in Estate of Reat v. Rodriguez, where a 911 operator continually failed to dispatch help to a motorist who was under attack. The operator actually instructed the motorist to return to the area of the attack, which resulted in the motorist’s shooting death. In detailing the facts,… read more…

Court: police can’t taser subdued arrestee; impacts Oklahoma law

How long can police continue to use a Taser against a suspect? In a recent opinion from the Tenth Circuit, the court held that police must discontinue use of a Taser once a suspect is subdued. It further held the law in this regard is well-established. In Perea v. Baca, police responded to a 911 call about… read more…

No Trespassing sign won’t keep police off your yard. Will a Moat?

Can police ignore a “No Trespassing” sign planted in your front yard? What about twenty of them? Would ignoring the sign violate the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against an unreasonable searches and seizure? The Tenth Circuit was recently called upon to answer this question in United States v. Carloss. In that case, police received a tip that… read more…

10 Commandments of Police/Citizen Encounters

An encounter with police, a jailer, or any other law enforcement, can be a stressful experience, even for innocent people. Here are 10 rules to remember if you are ever approached by a police officer:  Remain respectful Always maintain the high road. Anything you do that could be perceived as disrespectful (even if lawful), will… read more…

Court: lie detector test may be admissible

Is it true that lie detector tests are not admissible evidence? The prevailing rule is that results of a polygraph are not admissible on the issue of credibility. Such a rule would jeopardize a suspects civil rights and presumption of innocence if the jury placed too much emphasis on the test results, which are subject… read more…

5 Things Victims of Excessive Force Should Do

If you’re the victim of excessive force, and you want to hold the person responsible for your injuries accountable for their actions, here’s a list of five things you should do immediately afterwards:  Get immediate medical attention for your injuries Before doing anything, the victim of excessive force should have their injuries evaluated by a… read more…