Jerk Protection.

Author:Sullum, Jacob
Position:Texas police officer may have violated constitutional rights of woman - Brief Article
 
FREE EXCERPT

"It was not a proud moment for the City of Lago Vista." That's how three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit summed up Gall Atwater's encounter with local police officer Bart Turek on the afternoon of March 26, 1997. Atwater was driving through the Austin suburb when Turek pulled her over: She, her 4-year-old son, and her 6-year-old daughter were not wearing seat belts. But instead of simply issuing a citation, Turek handcuffed Atwater and hauled her down to the police station.

There Atwater was forced to remove her shoes and glasses, empty her pockets, and pose for a mug shot. She was confined in a jail cell for about an hour before seeing a magistrate, who released her on $310 bail. Later she paid a$50 fine, the maximum penalty, for each of the three eat-belt violations, plus a $110 towing fee for her pickup truck.

Since then, Atwater and her husband have spent a lot more money trying to convince a court that Turek violated her constitutional rights. A federal district judge dismissed their lawsuit against the officer and the city, a three-judge panel of the appeals court reinstated it, and the full court threw it out again...

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