SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The U.S. Supreme Court says a New Mexico State Police officer did not violate clearly established law when he shot and killed an armed man without first calling out a warning.
The nation’s highest court issued its decision Monday in the case of Officer Ray White, who is facing a wrongful death lawsuit over the 2011 shooting of Samuel Pauly at a home in northern New Mexico.
Maintaining a high bar for filing lawsuits against police under similar circumstances, the court emphasizing that officers are immune from such lawsuits unless it’s clear their actions violated established rights.
The justices asserted that lower courts failed to cite any similar case where an officer was found to have violated a person’s rights against excessive force. They sent the case back to a lower court for further proceedings.