A US Supreme Court decision declared that Teresa Sheehan cannot sue police for shooting her, in circumstances where the police “had sufficient reason to believe that their conduct was justified.” However, the question as to whether the City of San Francisco can still be held liable for the police’s actions and for not accommodating Sheehan’s mental illness under the Americans with Disabilities Act remains open, reported SFGate.
The story was previously reported on by Mad in America.
According to SFGate, Justice Scalia in particular criticized the City’s lawyers for what he called “bait-and-switch tactics” — the City got the case pushed all the way to the Supreme Court by asserting that they would argue that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) doesn’t apply when police are facing armed and dangerous suspects, but then never actually raised that issue during the Supreme Court hearings.
“Ben Nisenbaum, an attorney for Sheehan, said his client can ‘finally get her full day in court’ and sue the city under the disability act,” reported SFGate. Another attorney for Sheehan said, “I’m not surprised that the majority opinion granted qualified immunity to the officers. I do think that the issue still remains as to whether the city can itself be liable for violating the ADA.”
S.F. police immune from suit over shooting of mentally ill woman (SFGate, May 18, 2015)