October 18, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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Who is US Supreme Court Justice Amy Connie Barrett and where does she stand on big issues?

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George Floyd’s brother, Philonis Floyd, speaks at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 2020, in Washington, D.C. Photo by Michael M. Santiago / Pool by REUTERS

Policing

During her three years as a federal appeals court judge, Barrett has been consistent with police or prison guards accused of using excessive force, according to a Reuters review of cases involving her appearances.

Barrett wrote opinions or was part of a three-judge panel that ruled in favor of the defendants in 11 of the 12 cases in which law enforcement officials were accused of using excessive force in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Reuters review describes Barrett’s record of police coercion during counting in the United States.

In all five cases, the panel involved Barrett considered a request from police or correctional officers to be protected from lawsuits alleging excessive power through controversial legal protection known as competent immunity. The court granted those requests in four of the five cases.

A Reuters investigation published two weeks before George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police found that the immunization protection created 50 years ago by the Supreme Court was making it easier for police to kill or injure civilians without punishment.

The report shows that federal appellate courts have been giving immunity to the police at increasing rates in recent years.

Barrett sued three blacks last year, who filed a lawsuit against Chicago police. The men, who had nothing to do with the shooting, said they were being targeted because of their race, citing the “racial nature of ridicule and threats” made by one of the officers. Driver Marcus Tory told police he was committed for fear of police brutality.

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Barrett granted the officers a qualified immunity because the officers ‘actions were “not clearly established” to be unreasonable, claiming that the plaintiffs matched the suspects’ description of “number, race and car color.”

In other cases, she was willing to stay with the plaintiffs.

In 2019, she wrote a verdict denying immunity to a police officer who made false statements in prosecuting a murder suspect. She joined the verdict denying immunity to officers facing charges of making false allegations against a man who was sentenced to two years in prison.