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The United States Court of Appeals reviewed the lower court’s ruling, which denied judgment in favor of the defendant, Ronald Hansen, for qualified immunity to public officials from civil liability. FACTS OF THE CASE: In February of 1996, two African American police officers sued the Fayetteville Child of Police, Ronald Hanson

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Sean
TYPE OF ACTION:
The United States Court of Appeals reviewed the lower court’s ruling, which denied judgment in favor of the defendant, Ronald Hansen, for qualified immunity to public officials from civil liability.
FACTS OF THE CASE: In February of 1996, two African American police officers sued the Fayetteville Child of Police, Ronald Hanson. The two officers alleged that he violated their equal protected rights when Chief Hansen had instructed two high-ranking African American police officers, Major George Moyd and Captain Robert Shambley, to single out and interview only African American police officers. Major Moyd and Captain Shambleywere instructed to interview those officers to determine if they had been or known about any racial discrimination against black officers. Furthermore, Chief Hansen did not instruct Major Moyd or CaptinShambley, or any other staff member to interview any of the white employed police officers to determine if they have noticed or heard of any discrimination against African American police personnel in the police department.
Chief Hansen further directed the commander of the Office of Professional Standards to talk to every African American sworn member in the department who experienced discrimination and have the allegation thoroughly reviewed.
Following the directive of Chief Hanson, the two high-ranking officers interviewed all sixty-eight black police officers within the department. Officer Reaves and Officer Williams had reported discrimination within the police department, and a total of seventeen officers were involved. Officers Williams and Reaves maintained that the nature of the investigation had been to tarnish individual members who had spoken out against the racial discrimination throughout the police department with an attempt to locate those members who belonged to the group labeled as “Officers for Equity,” which was designed to oppose racial discrimination. CONTENTIONS OF THE PARTIES:
Under the Fourteenth Amendment, Officers Reaves and Williams argued that Chief Hansen ordering Major Moyd and Captain Shambley to interview only the African American population of police officers did, in fact, violate the officer’s constitutional rights. Chief Hansen argues that due to this position within the agency, he shall be granted qualified immunity and that through his action did not deny Officers Reaves or Williams their rights by designating interviews with the African American officers regarding racial discrimination.
Furthermore, Chief Hansen asserts that he rejects any racial discrimination within the police department and will take corrective steps to ensure it does not happen. ISSUES: Does Chief Hanson qualify for qualified immunity due to his position, and are Officers Williams and Reaves’s rights violated under the Fourteenth Amendment?
DECISION: The District Court reviewed and gave a ruling in favor of Officers Reaves and Williams. The courts rejected Chief Hansen’s qualified immunity argument citing that his defense was to only interview the African American officers in an effort to put an end to the racial discrimination throughout the department. While the courts noted that his intent was to end the racial issues, it was done incorrectly. Thus, the District Courts had ruled that Chief Hansen had violated the Equal Protection Clause and, as such not entitled to qualified immunity. Chief Hanson disagreed with the finding and moved the case to the Court of Appeals, which subsequently reversed the ruling in favor of Chief Hansen, indicating that no Constitutional Amendment violation occurred. The Court of Appeals noted that Chief Hansen’s actions were reasonable to ensure no forms of discrimination were present in the Police Department. Ultimately the District Court denied Chief Hansen’s motion for summary judgment and qualified immunity based on the plaintiff’s sustained claims.
REASONING: The court stated that if Chief Hansen had interviewed every white officer throughout the department, he would have been unable to determine which officers violated policy and withheld racial intent of discrimination. The higher courts also maintained that interviewing only African American police officers in the police department was reasonable to find out if discrimination existed in the police department and those who were the cause of the issue. The Court of Appeals noted that they would not find wrongdoing in a public forum of the Chief based on those facts.
RULE OF LAW: The Court of Appeals had ruled in favor were the Chief of Police’s actions were justified during his term. The court’s opinion did note that the delivery of the Chief’s methods could have been delivered in a more appropriate manner. Articulating that no violation had been made, but qualified immunity would not apply in this matter. While it’s unclear the true intentions of the Chief of Police, as a supervisor, he must hold that office with dignity and understanding of constitutional law to ensure protected acts are unviolated. Officers feel they were racially profiled based on the color of their skin, and such caused a divide in a law enforcement agency. No less than 100 words , respond to this persons discussion

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