A federal judge ruled Tuesday that six Columbia police officers who worked on the case against Ryan Ferguson are not entitled to immunity from the remaining counts of Ferguson’s civil rights lawsuit.
U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey issued the order about three months after the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had sent the case back, instructing her to clarify whether the officers should be entitled to qualified immunity. The order clears up the issue and allows the case to go to trial on several claims of constitutional violations, pending any further appeals at the Eighth Circuit level.
Qualified immunity protects government officials from legal liability unless their conduct clearly violates a person’s rights and an official acting reasonably would have known the conduct was unlawful. The doctrine is meant to shield officials from frivolous lawsuits.
Kathleen Zellner, Ferguson’s lawyer, did not respond to a message seeking comment. Brad Letterman, attorney for the officers, declined to comment. Read more >>