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The U.S. Supreme Court, in an opinion released Monday in the case involving the arrest in St. Louis of Nicholas Gilbert and his subsequent death while in a prone restraint imposed by police officers, has put officers on notice about the procedure.
Article by Bob Unruh from WND.
The issue has become a flash-point across America since the death a year ago in Minneapolis of George Floyd, who was placed in such a restraint on the ground and subsequently died.
One police officer, Derek Chauvin, has been convicted in that case and sentenced to 20-plus years in prison. Several other officers still face charges.
But the question of how much force to apply, and how to apply it, remains controversial today.
The Supreme Court said there are significant questions when officers apply such force that include whether the targeted person already is restrained with handcuffs or the like.
Further, what do law-enforcement protocols require.
And, the justices, in a per curiam order that returns the Gilbert case to the lower courts to “employ an inquiry that clearly attends to the facts and circumstances in answering those questions in the first instance, had a warning.
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“Guidance further indicates that the struggles of a prone suspect may be due to oxygen deficiency, rather than a desire to disobey officers’ commands. Such evidence, when considered alongside the direction of the restraint and the fact that Gilbert was handcuffed and leg shackled at the time, may be pertinent to the relationship between the need for the use of force and the amount of force used, the security problem at issue, and the threat – to both Gilbert and others – reasonably perceived by the officers.”
The court explains Gilbert was arrested for trespassing and traffic ticket charges in 2015. He was jailed, and when an officer saw him tie a piece of clothing around the bars of his call and putting it around his neck, six officers went into his cell.
He struggled and the officers handcuffed him with his hands behind his back and put him in leg shackles. Then they put him in a prone position, face down, and held him down at the shoulders, biceps and legs, and “at least one other placed pressure on Gilbert’s back and torso.”
Gilbert complained, “It hurts. Stop,” and after about 15 minutes his breathing became abnormal and he stopped moving. The officers turned him over and found no pulse, and he was pronounced dead.
Gilbert’s parents sued, claiming excessive force, but the district court said the officers were immune and the 8th Circuit claimed there was no unconstitutional excessive force.
The high court ruling noted “St. Louis instructs its officers that pressing down on the back of a prone subject can cause suffocation,” and police procedures recommend officers get a subject off his stomach as soon as he is handcuffed “because of that risk.”
Such factors need to be addressed because they all contribute to the perception of what force is required against a prisoner, the court said.
Three of the court’s conservative justices said the proper action would not be to just return the case to the lower courts for further review, but to have the Supreme Court itself review the facts.
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The dissent, by Justice Samuel Alito and joined by Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, said, “That is the course I would take … A decision by this court on the question presented here could be instructive.”
The dissent found: “Without carefully studying the record, I cannot be certain whether I would have agreed with the Eighth Circuit panel that summary judgment for the defendants was correct. The officers plainly had a reasonably basis for using some degree of force to restrain Gilbert so that he would not harm himself, and it appears that Gilbert, despite his slight stature [5’3″ and 160 pounds] put up a fierce and prolonged resistance. … On the other hand, the officers’ use of force inflicted serious injures, and the medical evidence on the cause of death was conflicting.”
New Conservative Network Seeks Crowdfunding Help
They say we have to go big or go home. We’re trying to go big and bring the patriotic truth the the nation, but we need help.
Readers may or may not realize that over the past year, we’ve been bringing more conservative news and opinion outlets under our wing. Don’t take our expansion as a sign of riches; all of the “acquisitions” have been through sweat and promises of greater things to come for all involved. As a result, we’ve been able to bring together several independent media sites under a unified vision of preventing America from succumbing to the progressive, “woke,” Neo-Marxist ideologies that are spreading like wildfire across America.
The slow and steady reopening of America is revealing there was a lot more economic hardship brought about from the Covd-19 lockdowns than most realize. While we continue to hope advertising dollars on the sites go up, it’s simply not enough to do things the right way. We are currently experiencing a gap between revenue and expenses that cannot be overcome by click-ads and MyPillow promos alone (promo code “NOQ” by the way).
To overcome our revenue gap and keep these sites running, our needs fluctuate between $3000-$7000 per month. In other words, we’re in the red and hemorrhaging.
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As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going.
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Most “Conservative” News Outlets Are on the Big Tech Teat
Not long ago, conservative media was not beholden to anyone. Today, most sites are stuck on the Big Tech gravy train.
I’ll keep this short. The rise of Pandemic Panic Theater, massive voter fraud, and other “taboo” topics have neutered a majority of conservative news sites. You’ll notice they are very careful about what topics they tackle. Sure, they’ll attack Critical Race Theory, Antifa, and the Biden-Harris regime, but you won’t see them going after George Soros, Bill Gates, the World Economic Forum, or the Deep State, among others.
The reason is simple. They are beholden to Big Tech, and Big Tech doesn’t allow certain topics to be discussed or they’ll cut you off. Far too many conservative news outlets rely on Google, Facebook, and Twitter for the bulk of their traffic. They depend on big checks from Google ads to keep the sites running. I don’t necessarily hold it against them. We all do what we need to do to survive. I just wish more would do like we have, which is to cut out Big Tech altogether.
We don’t get Google checks. We don’t have Facebook or Twitter buttons on our stories. We don’t have a YouTube Channel (banned), an Instagram profile (never made one), or a TikTok (no thanks, CCP). We’re not perfect, but we’re doing everything we can to not owe anything to anyone… other than our readers. We owe YOU the truth. We owe YOU the facts that others won’t reveal about topics that others won’t tackle. And we owe America, this great land that allows us to take hold of these opportunities.
Like I said, I don’t hold other conservative sites under too much scrutiny over their choices. It’s easy for people to point fingers when we’re not the ones paying their bills or supporting their families. I just wish there were more who would make the bold move. Today, only a handful of other major conservative news outlets have broken free from the Big Tech teat. Of course, we need help.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring proper news and opinions to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal or Bitcoin as well. Bitcoin: 3A1ELVhGgrwrypwTJhPwnaTVGmuqyQrMB8
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Thank you and God Bless,