Supreme Court rules for 83-year-old woman forced to kneel at gunpoint by police

The US Supreme Court, currently under the control of a far-right majority, typically sides with law enforcement in police brutality cases, invoking qualified immunity, a doctrine that protects police from liability in lawsuits.

However, in a surprising departure, the Court ruled in favor of an 83-year-old California woman, Elise Brown, who was forced to her knees at gunpoint and handcuffed during a traffic stop by Chino, California police officers, who suspected her vehicle was stolen. The Supreme Court found that the police had violated her rights and allowed Brown to proceed with her lawsuit against the Chino Police Department.

Elise Brown's lawyer said his client had been "terrified, humiliated, and emotionally traumatized. That conduct was not reasonable; it was extraordinarily dangerous and flatly inconsistent with the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on excessive force."

The cops saw things differently. From USA Today:

The Chino Police Department officers argue they were simply following protocols: traffic stops for potentially stolen vehicles are "high-risk" under city and state standards, they said. Brown was required to kneel for no more than twenty seconds and was in handcuffs for approximately three minutes, they said. The officers "deployed firearms in states of readiness consistent with their responsibilities on the scene of a high risk stop," the police told the Supreme Court. Brown, police said, appeared to "be in her 50s or early 60s" and "appeared not to need any accommodation due to health or frailty."