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Fighting for Government Accountability
James King, a law-abiding college student in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was brutally beaten in an unjustifiable case of mistaken identity. Members of a state and federal police task force misidentified James as a fugitive; stopped, searched, beat and choked him into unconsciousness; and then—even after it was clear they had the wrong man—arrested James and charged his with a series of felonies to cover their tracks. After fighting a criminal prosecution aimed at preventing James from vindicating his constitutional rights and sending him to prison, James was acquitted. But that was just the beginning.
When James filed a lawsuit against the officers to hold them to account for their actions, the officers argued they were entitled to several forms of immunity and persuaded the court to throw out James’ case. An appeals court reversed the worst parts of that decision, but the government has now taken James’ case to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the Court to shield the officers from any accountability for violating the Constitution.
James has partnered with the Institute for Justice to protect the rights of all Americans who encounter federal and state task forces. As part of IJ’s Project on Immunity and Accountability, James and IJ are asking the Supreme Court to end the shell game and hold officers to account when they violate individuals’ Constitution rights.
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The Institute for Justice protects the constitutional rights of all Americans. IJ defends ordinary people who want to earn an honest living, own and enjoy their property, speak freely, and give their children a good education but find that the government is standing in their way-and we win 75% of our cases.
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