Tennessee Vs Garner Research Paper

Good Essays
Tennessee v. Garner
The landmark case of Tennessee v. Garner took place in 1985 in Memphis, Tennessee. One evening in October of 1974, an officer who had responded to a burglary in progress call, shot an unarmed 15 year old boy named Edward Garner who was running away from him. The boy had in fact stolen ten dollars “and some jewelry from an unoccupied house” (Criminal investigation, 2013, p. 246). As the officer shouted at his back for him to stop, he attempted to flee by jumping a fence. At this time, the officer whose weapon was believed to already be drawn, shot the teen, fatally wounding him. He died that night at the hospital during surgery from a gunshot wound to the back of the head.
This case called for the Supreme Court to rule that police “may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead” (Criminal investigation,
…show more content…
Just months ago, an unarmed man was killed by an officer in Charleston, South Carolina as he ran away from him. The officer fired multiple rounds hitting the man at least 7 times, killing him. In my opinion, because the man was older than the officer, had not committed a violent crime, nor was he trying to harm the officer, he did not pose much of a threat in this occurrence. It has become more and more common for this to happen.
Initially, no charges were brought against the officer for this incident. Edward Garner’s father then filed a claim with the Federal District Court with no success. They had affirmed the decision that the officer had acted in good faith and within reason. The dissenting opinion of the Court was that the officer had done no wrong and acted rationally under the statute of the state and the departmental policy. The majority opinion was that the 4th Amendment had been violated because the reasonableness of the officers action could not be validated as no harm had been attempted on

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985), is a civil case in which the Supreme Court of the…

    • 597 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Tennessee V. Garner

    • 829 Words
    • 4 Pages

    On October 3, 1974, Memphis Police Officers Hymon and Wright were dispatched to answer a "prowler inside call." When the police arrived at the scene, a neighbor gestured to the house where she had heard glass breaking and that someone was breaking into the house. While one of the officer radioed that they were on the scene, the other officer went to the rear of the house hearing a door slam and saw someone run across the backyard. The suspect, Edward Garner stopped at a 6-feet-high fence at the edge of the yard and proceeded to climb the fence as the police officer called out "police, halt." The police officer figured that if Garner made it over the fence he would get away and also "figured" that Garner was unarmed. Officer Hymon then shot him, hitting him in the back of the head. In using deadly force to prevent the escape of Garner, Hymon used the argument that actions were made under the authority of the Tennessee statute and pursuant to Police Department policy. Although the department's policy was slightly more restrictive than the statute it still allowed the use of deadly force in cases of burglary. Garner's fathers' argument was made that his son was shot unconstitutionally because he was captured and shot possessing ten dollars that he had stolen and being unarmed showing no threat of danger to the officer. The incident was then reviewed by the Memphis Police Firearm's Review Board and presented to a grand jury of the Federal District Court and the Court of Appeals. Neither of these presentations of the incident took any action.…

    • 829 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Garner v. Tennessee

    • 1827 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Tennessee statute under authority of which police officer fired fatal shot was unconstitutional because it authorized use of deadly force against apparently unarmed, non dangerous fleeing suspect;…

    • 1827 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Tennessee V Garner

    • 653 Words
    • 3 Pages

    The Supreme Court has made many decisions about police conduct but very few have had the impact on all of law enforcement as that of Tennessee vs. Garner. This landmark case has set very clear lines as when an officer of the law may use deadly force on a fleeing suspect.…

    • 653 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Police Use Of Force Essay

    • 793 Words
    • 4 Pages

    In Tennessee v. Garner (1985), the court held that a police officer, when pursuing a fleeing suspect, may use deadly force only to prevent escape if the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others. (Peak, (2015). John Blume wrote an article titled…

    • 793 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Castle Doctrine Thesis

    • 1142 Words
    • 5 Pages

    This paper will discuss the stand your ground laws and also the castle doctrine. These laws play a big role in today’s society and also, at times create a blurry line in terms of self defense. This can be seen in the case of Trayvon martin and George Zimmerman. This was when an unarmed black teen by the name of Trayvon Martin, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, the unofficial neighborhood watch man. Zimmerman stated that the death occurred due to self defense and that the case fell under the stand your ground law. The Jury’s verdict then acquitted Zimmerman of the charge of second degree murder. This high profile case caused much controversy and reawakened the question of what is self-defense and what is murder. Furthermore this paper will discuss whether or not these laws just and fair or are a license to kill.…

    • 1142 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Most police shootings make the front page of the paper or the night time news. Every time the police use their weapons it is highly covered by the press because they know it will gain a ton of public attention. Certain police shootings receive so much coverage that the officers are put under investigation and sent to trial in order to uncover all the facts of the case. One case in particular is the Sean Bell case. This case was a highly controversial case because of race, motive, and unknown facts that needed to be brought to light. In this case, undercover police officer Gescard Isnora followed soon to be married Sean Bell out of a club in queens because he thought he heard one of the suspects say that they were going to go get a gun out of their car. An unmarked police van followed along with detective Isnora who drew his weapon…

    • 2407 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Police Brutality

    • 1314 Words
    • 6 Pages

    There is not a day that goes by that somewhere in the United States that an innocent civilian gets beaten from a police officer for no apparent reason. Sometimes the reason is because a police officer is racist. Racism, discrimination, and police brutality all go hand in hand because police officers usually do not go around beating civilians up for no reason. Usually the motive is because they are racist. The most major race that was affected by police brutality seems to be Caucasian people but according to the “NAACP, they say that between 1976 and 1987, officers killed about 1,800 blacks and 3,000 whites. Since blacks comprise approximately 12% of the general population, the data suggest that blacks are about three times more likely to be killed by officers than whites”. These appalling numbers are probably on the rise.…

    • 1314 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Police Brutality Riots

    • 1536 Words
    • 7 Pages

    In contemporary America, police brutality is the preferred form of social control (Contemporary Police Brutality and Misconduct 2). The police are so feared or disrespected by people in certain communities that it gives officers great latitude in handling people when they respond to incidents. A 2015 report for the Justice Department analyzed 394 incidents involving deadly police force in Philadelphia. It was found that officers "need more less-lethal options” (Wihbey &Kille 3). A pervasive problem in dealing with police brutality is the obvious lack of training. Officers are not given the resources to handle situations that they will most likely deal with. Because they do not have the proper training there is no way to hold them accountable for their actions, leaving large grey areas for police brutality to fester. While it is clear that officers should be held accountable for senseless shootings it is also important to acknowledge how dangerous their work is. America has a higher homicide rate compared to other developed nations, and many more guns per capita. Citizens seldom learn of the countless incidents where officers choose to hold fire and display restraint under extreme stress. Instead, due to the intense media storms, citizens only ever hear about incidents that…

    • 1536 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Like when there are criminals on the loose, they are there to stop them. Instead, there are others who can’t do their job right, some cops think that the best way to deal with problems are to shoot the victims. The law states that you can’t fire at someone is unarmed. Cops should have better training for when it is the right time to use their gun at the right time. With situations like this, it is the reason why the “Black Lives Matter Movement” exists today. In August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, 18-year-old Michael Brown African- American was shot by a white police being…

    • 500 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Constitutional Policing

    • 986 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Weeks v. United States. 232 United States. 383. (1914). Retrieved from http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=8676110639881267815&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr (This case outlines the case law around constitutional policing in the United States.)…

    • 986 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Terry vs Ohio

    • 986 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Terry vs. Ohio is a landmark case that was brought to the Supreme Court. It started on October 31st, 1963, in Cleveland, Ohio, when a police officer named Martin McFadden observed two men standing outside a store front window. He watched one of the men walk down the street pausing to look into the store window when he reached the end of the street the man turned around and proceeded to walk back, pausing at the same store front window. Upon reaching the other man, the two talked. The other man then made the same trip down the street, pausing to look in the same store front window. A third man then joined the other two men at the corner. They talked and then the third man left. The two men then returned to the ritual of walking up and down the street. McFadden then followed the two men, and watched as they met up with the third man in front of the store. At this point, Officer McFadden walked up to the men, identified himself as a police officer, and asked for their names. He asked the first man, Terry, to turn around. He frisked him, and, feeling a pistol inside Terry's overcoat, he ordered the three men into the store. Terry and the second man Chilton was charged with possession of a concealed weapon, and were each sentenced to a three-year term in prison.…

    • 986 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Police brutality is one of the most serious and divisive human rights violations in the United States and it occurs in every community. The job of a police officer is to maintain public order, prevent, and detect crime. They are engaged in a dangerous and stressful occupation that can involve violent situations that must be controlled. In many of these confrontations with the public it may become necessary for the police to administer force to take control of a situation. Sometimes this force takes the form of hand to hand combat with a suspect who resists being arrested. Not all police officers in communities are good cops. At least once a year the news is covering a story about a person being beat by a police officer. Police brutality is where a police officer beats a person or criminal for no apparent reason and isn’t threatened by the criminal when taking these actions. Racial profiling is the most common form of police brutality. In the United States, beating of a criminal for committing a criminal act is illegal and the police officer will be fired and no longer able to work any community as a police officer. Not only is police brutality shown in an excessive force but, verbal attacks happen more often. Verbal attacks are more common because officers feel like they won’t get in trouble because no damage is done but, words mean a lot. In some rare cases a police officer has killed the suspect out of anger and no reason. A police officer is permitted to force against a citizen when needed to or when felt threatened. Some of the beatings occur when the citizen is in handcuffs and not able to do anything to protect himself, some have called it alley court. Every year about 261 police officers are cited for police brutality and 27 percent of victims resulted in civil lawsuits and 34 percent are favoring victims. Citizens shouldn’t have to worry about getting beat by the ones who protect us that defeats the purpose…

    • 1361 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Tennessee statute at the time stated that the use of deadly force was acceptable, which was backed up by the department policy, in the event of successfully preventing the escape a suspect. The statute warranted the use of deadly force was acceptable if the defendant attempted to flee or forcibly resist an imminent arrest. The department policy was even more restrictive, however still allowed the use of deadly force was warranted in the event of a burglary. .…

    • 719 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    (Funches, 2015) In Tennessee v. Garner, a Memphis cop whom shot and slaughtered a 15-year-old boy named Edward Garner who unexpectedly imparted a last name with Eric Garner, the man who died in an apparent "strange hold" on Staten Island a year ago. The mutual last name goes to my reference of having no father in the family and that families share criminal foundations. The night he died, Edward Garner had burglarized a house was unarmed and escaping on foot when a police officer shot him in the back of the head. The African American teenager had $10 and a purse he'd stolen from the house on him. While the cop said he "figured" Garner was unarmed, he defended his actions under a Tennessee law that stipulated cops could "use all the necessary means to effect the arrest" of suspects who flee. (Tennessee v. Garner, 1985)…

    • 795 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays