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Court Keeps Lawsuit Alive for 83-year-old Woman Forced to Her Knees in California Traffic Stop

In 2019, 83-year-old Elise Brown was a little over 5 feet tall and weighed all of 117 pounds when she was ordered out of her blue Oldsmobile by police in California. The Chino Police Departmetn officers who pulled over Brown mistakenly thought the car she was driving had been stolen. Following their protocol, they said, they drew their handguns, handcuffed Brown, and forced her to her knees.


Earlier this year, a federal appeals court this year ruled that Brown could sue the police for excessive force, waiving a legal doctrine known as qualified immunity that protects police from liability for civil rights violations, The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday let that lower court ruling stand, keeping Brown's lawsuit alive. USA Today reports. Police organizations have long maintained that officers need immunity in cases when they must defend themselves and split-second decisions can lead to unforeseen tragedy.  But Brown sued in 2020, claiming the officers' actions went beyond the confines of their jobs.   “Ms. Brown was terrified, humiliated, and emotionally traumatized,” her lawyer told the Supreme Court. “That conduct was not reasonable; it was extraordinarily dangerous and flatly inconsistent with the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on excessive force.”

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