Monday, April 5, 2021
Shawn Fields (Campbell University - Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law) has posted Protest Policing and the Fourth Amendment (UC Davis Law Review, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Police crowd control techniques have come under increased scrutiny after viral videos of unprovoked violence against protesters dominated airwaves in 2020. Many demonstrators, and at least two state attorneys general, pursued civil rights claims claiming excessive use of force under the Fourth Amendment. While debate rages over the merits of those claims, surprisingly little scholarly literature exists to examine an important related threshold question: does the Fourth Amendment apply at all to protest policing violence? This Article provides the first sustained treatment of the issue, highlighting how the United States Supreme Court’s narrow definition of “seizure” and cramped notion of Fourth Amendment “standing” cast doubt on demonstrators’ ability to sustain claims of excessive force under the Fourth Amendment.