In Scott v. Harris, the Court held 8-1 that when a car chase poses a “substantial and immediate risk” of injury to others, a police officer was acting reasonably when he terminated the chase by bumping the driver off the road. Justice Stevens didn’t agree with the Court and included this juicy bit in his dissent:

I can only conclude that my colleagues were unduly frightened by two or three images on the tape that looked like bursts of lightning or explosions, but were in fact merely the headlights of vehicles zooming by in the opposite lane. Had they learned to drive when most high- speed driving took place on two-lane roads rather than on superhigh- ways—when split-second judgments about the risk of passing a slow- poke in the face of oncoming traffic were routine—they might well have reacted to the videotape more dispassionately.

If you have time, the whole dissent is pretty interesting.


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